A project to improve the eating quality and consumer demand of Australian melons is progressing well, with a series of grower meetings across Australia completed 3 May.
Retailers have applauded Citrus New Zealands’s navel orange quality programme for providing seven consecutive seasons of reliably high consumer acceptability, which hit a record 99% this year.
Work is now underway to help boost the eating quality and consumer demand of Australian melons.
Crop quality specialists, Delytics Ltd, have been contracted by Hort Innovation to lead a results-focused quality improvement project in collaboration with Melons Australia, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Rudge Produce Systems Pty Ltd. Hort Innovation is a not-for-profit, grower-owned company that delivers more than $120 million in research, development and marketing activities on behalf of Australian horticulture each year.
New Zealand navel oranges have demonstrated the ongoing benefits of maturity standards, with six consecutive seasons of high consumer acceptability.
The retail monitoring data Delytics analyses for Citrus New Zealand has shown a consistently high consumer acceptance for navel oranges since the industry adopted consumer-validated minimum maturity standards in 2016.
Consumer acceptability has averaged 87% for New Zealand navel oranges since the new maturity standards were adopted, despite some significant seasonal variations in weather and crop yield. This is 20 percentage points higher than in 2015, before the standards were adopted, when consumer acceptability was 67%.
The New Zealand navel orange industry’s ongoing commitment to optimum eating quality has resulted in a record 97% consumer acceptability in the first three weeks of the season.
Post-harvest maturity data analysis carried out for the Citrus New Zealand by Delytics Ltd has shown a consistently high consumer acceptance for navel oranges since the industry adopted the clearance process Delytics developed for them in 2016. In 2015, before the new clearance protocols and BrimA standards were adopted, consumer acceptability was only 67%. Since then, consumer acceptability has tracked north of 82% each season, despite significant variations in weather-related growing conditions.
Fruit marketers wanting to achieve the same consumer response in every country they sell to can now develop maturity standards for each specific market to optimise demand and repeat purchases.
Delytics Ltd has extensive experience developing market-specific minimum maturity standards that link fruit properties with consumer taste preferences in different geographical regions. This enables export brands to strengthen their reputation as a premium provider that consistently delivers great taste.
Retail analysis carried out by Delytics Ltd in collaboration with James Hutton Ltd has identified a significant opportunity to increase consumer demand for blueberries in the UK.
The analysis revealed extreme taste variations in different samples of the same blueberry variety, which were grown across Europe and purchased from UK supermarkets over a five-month period. The retail samples were analysed to provide a consumer acceptability benchmark for the James Hutton blueberry breeding programme.
Delytics Ltd is assisting Sun World International, LLC, an Australian licensing business to ensure its table grapes meet the quality standards required to bear its premium varietal brands such as MIDNIGHT BEAUTY® and AUTUMNCRISP®.
The independent quality assurance provided by Delytics is underpinning Sun World’s Australian compliance monitoring of its branded proprietary table grapes, sold throughout Australia and exported throughout Asia.
James Hutton Limited, on behalf of the blueberry breeding consortium, has contracted Delytics Ltd to help them select new varieties that will be consistently liked by consumers.
Delytics is assisting the consortium to pin point blueberry varieties that will appeal to multiple consumer groups with distinct taste preferences. The aim is to track how each variety matures over time to determine its taste development and expected acceptance by specific target markets.
The Australian table grape industry saw a significant increase in consumer acceptability, demand and prices just one year after Delytics helped the industry put new maturity standards in place. Nielsen data showed an average 10.1% increase in volume over the 2019/20 season and an associated 5% increase in price. Retail monitoring over the same time period recorded the highest consumer acceptability in five years with an overall consumer acceptability of 79%. This was a 20 percentage point increase from the 2016/17 season, the year before the project started.