Robotic apple harvester used for commercial crop i … You might also be interested in While Europe has been an excellent market, Evans said the brand would like to further the develop the Asian market. She noted the region had sophisticated retailers and “consumers that are willing to pay for quality and really appreciate a premium brand.”The challenge of the Chinese marketEvans expected strong growth to come from the countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and also highlighted China as one market the brand would like to break into.Today there are almost no sales of Pink Lady apples in China. Not legal ones, at least, with Pink Lady the victim of illegal production and counterfeit branding – a widespread issue in the Chinese fruit market that has also affected New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri and California avocado company Mission Produce.Evans said time would be needed to conduct research and establish the right approach for the market, but believed China could one day be an important destination for Pink Lady apples.”China is an interesting one. While Pink Lady has been generally quite dominant globally, China’s been a challenge. I guess the market’s been confused by illegally grown and in some cases illegally branded products,” she said.Creating a strategyIn her new role, one of Evans’ main objectives is to establish a strategy in China to officially launch the brand.”We all know the potential that China has to offer, if you get it right,” she said. “But caution is needed. We need to take our time on that.”Chinese consumers’ well-known preference for very sweet fruit varieties mean that Pink Lady – with its unique sweet-sour taste – might not be considered the most natural fit for the mass market there, but Evans believes things have changed dramatically over recent years in terms of what Chinese consumers are willing to try and what they like.”I think they’re eating and drinking more global flavors and tastes than what they’ve ever done before,” she said.”What’s going to be important for us is that we do our research. For me that’s one of the first things I’ll be looking to do, to sit down with the consumers who we believe the target consumers would be and see how they feel about Pink Lady.”It’s really complex and I think it changes all the time. Something that was true there five years ago may not hold true now. So I think we need to have consumer backing, we need the insight, we need to understand what consumers really want and prefer over in China before we jump into the market.” Chinese market apple shortage leads to highest pri … Pink Lady apples “maintained good performance” in … China: apple prices soar, concerning Beijing … July 30 , 2018 The world’s leading apple brand is setting its sights on the world’s biggest apple market, as Pink Lady eyes a future in China.The popular brand has been enjoying strong growth in traditional markets like Europe, with the U.K. recently seeing its biggest sales month ever. But as supplies grow, sales are expected to rise in other regions such as Asia, the Middle East, South America and Canada.At Fresh Fruit Portal we spoke with Michelle Evans, chief marketing officer at Coregeo – the U.K. master license holder – who was recently appointed head of group marketing by Pink Lady brand owners Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL).APAL said it made the appointment as part of an organizational restructuring as it looks to expand its capability and capacity while extending its reach into key international markets.Evans explained that the U.K. has been a “standout” market for Pink Lady, with the brand’s market share having tripled over the past decade.”There’s no doubt that the U.K. and Europe have progressed with the brand,” she said. “Our only struggle in the past couple of years has been getting the supply.”Strong Southern Hemisphere seasonThis current Southern Hemisphere season has been going really well, she said, following last year when hot weather in numerous production countries put a lid on the volume of apples meeting the Pink Lady specifications.”We’ve got some really great product coming in from Chile and South Africa, and June sales [in the U.K.] were 31% up on last year,” she said.Evans partly attributed the brand’s strong performance to its extensive marketing campaign that she believes sets Pink Lady apart from any other fruit brand.”Everything is working in synergy. We have consumers that really understand and covet the Pink Lady brand, and we have great retailers and licensees that uphold the quality specifications so that consumers get a consistent experience every time,” she said.