Red seedless grapes gain market share

01/12/2011 10:04:52 AM
Andy Nelson

Red seedless grapes continue to gain traction among importers of Chilean grapes.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group expects to ship a similar mix of grape varieties from Chile this season, said Josh Leichter, Newark, Del.-based director of the grape category.

Industrywide, Leichter said, the trend toward more and more red seedless grapes continues.

“They’re promoted more, and retailers are moving more of them,” he said.

Demand for red globes, which five years ago seemed to be in decline, has picked up, Leichter said.

Oppenheimer expects to increase imports of two newer niche varieties from Chile this season, Leichter said.

The muscat, a seedless pink-colored variety with a green background, and the kyoho, a very sweet black grape, are expected to peak late in the deal, with late February and March arrivals, he said.

The Giumarra Cos., Los Angeles, expects a similar mix of varieties as in 2009-10, said Craig Uchizono, vice president of Southern Hemisphere.

Thompsons began shipping at the end of the year, joining perlettes, flames and sugraones on the Giumarra roster, Uchizono said.

By variety, autumn royals were expected to see the biggest percentage increase over 2009-10, according to a report from the Santiago-based Chilean Exporters Association (ASOEX).

Royal exports were expected to increase 8%, superiors 7%, globes, flames and Thompsons 6% and crimsons 5%. Perlette exports were slated to fall 6%.



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