Winter fruit displays are set to be a popular choice for shoppers seeking out healthy snacks to fill their lunchboxes this month said United Fresh President, Jerry Prendergast.
“The high nutrition content of fruit and their easy convenience makes them nature’s perfect snack for busy families, “ he said.
Healthy eating messages are encouraging shoppers to avoid pre-packaged, highly processed snack foods in favour of fresh produce alternatives, and fruit is top of the list for its great taste and high vitamin and mineral content.
“Winter flu season will also drive consumers to seek out fruit varieties such as kiwifruit and citrus that are known to provide a good burst of Vitamin C to keep the bugs at bay,” said Prendergast.
July sees a steady supply of the New Zealand’s largest and most famous fresh fruit crop - gold and green kiwifruit. Picking is now complete on orchards based predominantly in the Bay of Plenty, with a good crop this year ensuring prices remain attractive to consumers.
T&G Fresh, one of United Fresh’s valued members, report that New Zealand’s citrus growers are busy harvesting this year’s crop. Retailers should look out for Satsuma mandarins which will be a highlight of displays this month. This easy-peel variety is always sought-after as a convenient snack and volumes are plentiful.
T&G Fresh began picking the first of this season’s Satsumas in early April in Kerikeri, and their third-party growers are now finishing up harvesting the last of the annual crop in Gisborne. The eating quality has been spectacular this season, with juicy, large fruit and low acidity levels. The T&G Fresh team note that this is an absolute credit to their growers, who have effectively nurtured their crops despite the extreme and often unpredictable weather over the past few months.
T&G Fresh are also ready to start harvesting the first of this season’s Navel oranges, another winter staple expected in stores this month. These delicious Vitamin C rich fruit are well loved by consumers during the winter months making frequent appearances at the sports side-line for a healthy halftime energy boost.
Pipfruit are in high demand in July amongst consumers looking for an on-the-go, healthy snacking option. New Zealand apples should be a mainstay of retail displays this month, with delicious crisp flavours available across all varieties this season.
T&G Fresh’s premium apple JAZZ™ is a good quality this season, and with more people looking for healthier snacking options, the unique qualities of this variety make it the perfect choice.
Display apples carefully, storing them in refrigeration where possible and keep a close eye out for discolouration or bruising, which consumers dislike. Select firm fruit with bright skin and ensure you have a selection of different varieties and price points for shoppers to choose from.
Pears provide an excellent complement to apple displays; look for favourite New Zealand pear varieties, including Packham, Beurré Bosc, Winter Nelis, Winter Cole, Doyenne du Comice and Williams bon Chrétien – also known as the Bartlett pear.
While apples, citrus and kiwifruit are the largest fruit crops in July, make sure you include smaller quantities of other fruit for consumers to try. Locally grown persimmons are still available, as are red and gold tamarillos. Both these varieties have delicious, sub-tropical flavours that consumers love in the cooler months.
By United Fresh, New Zealand