We’ve had some excellent activities managed by the State Associations at the Royal Shows this year. Melbourne and Perth, while still in their infancy are building a real fan following with the refreshing, healthy, great value Aussie Apples slinkies.
Managed by Fruit Growers Victoria Ltd (FGVL) with volunteers from around the industry, the Royal Melbourne Show was a hit for Aussie Apples. It returned a healthy profit to FGVL with the stand selling almost two tonnes of fruit and almost 1,500 litres of Summer Snow juice.
Anyone who visited the stand can attest to its success in driving consumption of Aussie Apples, but more so it’s a fantastic learning experience in how consumers perceive our product, the questions they ask and how they engage with us as an industry. Overwhelmingly, we quickly realised that while consumers can generally name five to six varieties of Aussie Apples, when placed in front of them, the response is generally, “red or green”!
We have some fantastic industry stories, and one of those has to be that of Summer Snow, and how the Russo family built that business on what was near devastation following the summer hail storm that wiped out their crop in 1998. The juice has gone from strength to strength and Summer Snow was amongst the first to embrace the Aussie Apples brand when it was launched in 2011 and are now a mainstay of the Royal Melbourne Show, even expanding into slushies that were especially popular when the all too rare, warmer Melbourne weather appeared.
As mentioned before, these activities can’t happen without the commitment and passion of our industry volunteers and grower families, but they also need someone to take charge and commit themselves to the event. This year, on annual leave from his role at Montague Fresh, Michael Russo stepped up to the challenge, and for that he deserves a hearty thank you and congratulations. Michael and his wife are also expecting their first child soon, and we wish them both well. He had some good opportunities to spy and test strollers whilst at the Royal Melbourne Show – and will no doubt be visiting the Show next year as a first time Dad.
The Aussie Apples display at the Perth Royal Show is being managed by Fruit West Co-operative Ltd and will be over by the time you read this. I’ll share a full report at the conclusion of the Show, along with the plans for the 2015 campaign.