Snack apples, the new Rivoira, VI.P and VOG project gets underway

30 September 2020
A new project to drive the commercial development of the promising “snack apple” segment. This is the goal of Snacking Project, the new consortium founded by three leading Italian companies in the apple-growing sector: Rivoira G. & F.lli of Verzuolo (CN), VI.P of Laces (BZ) and VOG of Terlano (BZ).The partnership between these three important businesses dates back to 2017 and their common collaboration with French company IFO, specialists in the research and development of new apple varieties, which enabled them to access an exclusive breeding project for the selection of naturally small apples. The natural size and shape of these fruits make them ideal for consumption as snacks, for munching on between meals, when travelling and during short breaks, but also perfect for eating at school as tasty and healthy alternatives to calorie-packed mass-produced snacks.

After the initial agreement, Rivoira, VI.P and VOG secured the exclusive joint license for the varieties regarded as most interesting for commercial development; following in-depth tests on a dozen or so selections identified by the breeding project, a first variety was chosen for commercial production. The natural consequence was the creation of a separate company to support and ensure the continuity of the project.

“Working together so we can look to the future and innovate is essential and this is borne out by the birth of this new entity”, remarks Thomas Oberhofer, Chairman of VI.P and now Chairman of Snacking Project. “We want to guarantee our consumers the possibility of enjoying high-quality yet innovative apples that are perfect at all times of day and whatever they are doing, whether they are at home or out”. 

“We are very proud of this partnership with three leading Italian producers in the apple-growing sector”, comments Bruno Essner, Chairman of IFO. “We are convinced that it is a project with solid foundations; we have managed to obtain naturally small and particularly tasty apples thanks to years of research involving our best professionals. The exclusive license granted to Snacking Project is concrete proof of our belief in these three companies and their work teams”.

“We are very happy with this first step and now we have to look to the future with energy and optimism because this is a long-term project”, comments Georg Kössler, Chairman of VOG. 

Marco Rivoira, CEO of the eponymous Piemont company, agrees: “The project is now in full swing and the most delicate phase is about to begin with the first major market tests in October, thanks to the first few thousand kilos harvested this year in Piemont and South Tyrol - Südtirol. We are ready and are making swift progress thanks to a precise business plan”.

The first variety chosen for the “snacking” project is a yellow skinned apple harvested at the end of August. Sweet and crunchy, it is perfect for consumption in the autumn and winter months. The first limited volumes harvested will undergo tasting tests in selected point of sales; for now, an in-line flowpack has been chosen for the packaging. Over the next few years the project will be further developed and enriched with the selection of other red and bi-coloured varieties, late-season and suitable for longer storage periods. In fact, the aim is to guarantee customers a wide and complete range of snack apples 12 months a year.

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