April 19, 2013

Oppy launches the playful Papple

TORONTO, On. — Silly name. Serious flavor.

“That’s a beautiful-looking fruit, and a potential game changer in the pear category,” thought David Nelley, apple and pear category director for The Oppenheimer Group when he first saw the Papple™ PremP109. Oppy will give this New Zealand-bred cross between a European and Asian pear its commercial debut in North America at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association trade show today.

“Papple™ is an intriguing fruit with the crunch of an apple but the juicy, sweet texture of a pear,” he said. “And its sunny-red blush really pops out. This is just the kind of excitement the pear category needs.”

Nelley encourages visitors to Oppy’s CPMA booth to taste the rare pear for themselves, because Papple™ supplies are still quite limited worldwide and full-scale commercial availability is still a few seasons away.

Papple™ is the latest taste sensation developed by the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and managed globally by the Associated International Group of Nurseries (AIGN). It’s currently grown in Motueka, New Zealand, and trees are also planted in the U.K., where the fruit was initially introduced and dubbed “Papple” by the British press in 2012. Small volumes were also sold in Asia last year. Papple™ will be available in the USA in May.

“We plan to test market the tiny volume we receive this season,” Nelley said. “Because Papple™ is so intriguing and unique, we will be seeking retail and consumer feedback to help us understand what the future may hold for the fruit. It may have a weird name but it sure looks good in a fruit bowl.”

“Papple™ helps round out our leadership position in new apple and pear varieties from New Zealand,” Nelley said, naming Smitten, Divine, Taylor’s Gold, Braeburn, Pacific Rose™, JAZZ™ and Envy™ among others available from Oppy. “Knowing that people are curious about new flavors and culinary experiences, we are excited by Papple™’s potential, and eager to share a taste with North America.”

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