Apples go like a rocket

Last updated 05:00 11/08/2014
 Phil Alison of Rockit Apples.
TASTE OF SUCCESS: Phil Alison of Rockit Apples.

Relevant offers

Farming

'Opportunist' fertiliser dealer undercuts big players Hard nosed attitude needed for science business startups to get off the ground Richard Morrison knows he has big boots to fill as new Manawatu/Rangitikei Feds president New conveyor ride saves yards of time for farmers and sheep in Taranaki Dairy farm sales rise 20 per cent from a year ago Central Otago District Council to consider independent report into economic impact of ORC's proposed water plan changes Northland's Marsden Estate owners selling award-winning winery The answer to dairy effluent storage compliance US testing begins on genetically modified ryegrass developed in NZ Fieldays a chance to talk and share gripes with industry's movers and shakers

Taiwan is one of New Zealand's leading apple markets. Hawke's Bay apple grower Phil Alison said his company had had "phenomenal" success with small red Rockit apples, sold in stylised cylindrical packaging.

He had a unique product that was different to the rest of the industry's "trade brands".

"We are in the snack business, not the apple business. The competition is chocolate bars and nuts. We have to reach directly to consumers so we spend a lot on branding and research," Alison said.

Taiwan was the company's test market because consumers there were very discerning. It had grown 10-fold in the past two years and was now the company's biggest market. It also exported to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. He envisaged big volume increases in the next five to 10 years as orchards growing the new variety came on stream.

Alison said he had wanted to shift from viewing apples as a commodity because it was not a very sustainable business model. People thought he had "rocks in his head" when he came up with the concept. He admitted to a ‘eureka" moment when he came up with the packaging idea, but he had put in the homework.

"I spent days walking supermarket aisles researching the market," he said.

Ad Feedback

- BusinessDay

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online