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Field walk wraps up successful Ricó season

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Following a successful retail debut in supermarket retailers this year, the first field walk for ANP-0131 (Ricó®) growers and researchers took place at Calimna Orchard on 22 November. 

Nic Finger, Fruit Help consultant, has been contracted by APAL to provide ongoing technical consultant services for the growing of ANP-0131. He was joined by Louise Wood from Freshmax and Dr Lexie McClymont from Agriculture Victoria. 

Andrew Mandemaker, APAL Head of Group Quality, Innovation and Commercialisation, said this field walk offered a season in review, market updates and technical insights for growers. 

“As we’re moving into the next stage of variety and brand management, we’re investing in new tech services to support growers and we’ve sought Nic’s expertise in technical input and maturity monitoring for the year ahead,” Andrew said. 

Dr Lexie McClymont presented research findings from Tatura SmartFarm on ANP-0131 fruit size and alternate bearing, and rootstocks. 

“We had a significant amount of initial research from projects at the Tatura SmartFarm when we launched Ricó, so we started in a strong position with a lot of data,” Andrew said. “We’re fortunate to have these ongoing projects, and we will continue to build on this with Nic’s services and a future program of field walks.” 

Louise provided a brand perspective on the success of the Ricó launch – which offers promising potential for next season.

“We were really happy with the launch,” Louise said. “The original trial for the major supermarket retailer was intended for a 6-week run only, and it ended up going for 16 weeks, with an average of 10 pallets a week going out to the retailer branches. The pack sheds did really well in delivering a quality product, which helped with continuous sales. In fact, it only ended because we ran out of stock, which was encouraging.  

“Also, consistent sales means that a loyalty has been developed with consumers already. I’m a strong believer that people make the decision about what they’re going to buy before they reach the store, so this is important. We only needed to run two promos the whole season. From our perspective, for a new product that started with minimal promotion it went quite well.” 

The retailer has already ranged Ricó for next year. The ‘pear with personality’ will return to NSW and Victorian supermarket shelves, with the potential to expand to Queensland. 

For more information on the Ricó launch in Australia, see our earlier article. 

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