Mini-apple rocks it to them

Havelock North Fruit Company (HNFC) has won an international award for its miniature Rockit apple.

Sold in a plastic tube, the sweet-flavoured fruit is slightly bigger than a golf ball and has sold successfully in New Zealand, the UK, Italy, North America and Asia.

HNFC managing director Phil Alison attended the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards where Rockit won the New Zealand-Taiwan Business Excellence Award.

The awards recognise Australian, New Zealand and Taiwanese companies that have made a significant contribution to business relations between the three countries.

“We’re thrilled to gain recognition for developing strong international relationships and we’re particularly proud of the partnership with Taiwan,” Mr Alison said.

“Our results in the Taiwanese market demonstrate that the commercialisation, market strategy and market development are following best practices and trying to meet and keep up with the demands.”

Last year, 2000 cartons were exported and, in 2014, 15,000.

It is a product of Plant & Food’s Havelock North-based cross-breeding programme, started by the late Dr Don Mackenzie and developed further by Allan White.

In 2010, HNFC won the KPMG Food Enterprise Innovation Award and was one of the three finalists for the overall Supreme New Zealand Food Award.

Mr Alison said continuing success confirmed the apple had found a place in the market as a healthy snack food with wide appeal.

The company has 79ha are under cultivation with another 55ha planned. Further expansion is planned. The company has been successful in its search for investors, with most coming from the Bay of Plenty in its first funding round this year.

Article Courtesy of: Hawke’s Bay Today, © Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

For more information regarding Rockit Apples, please follow this link: http://www.rockitapple.com