T&G Global’s premium Envy™ apple brand has had a record season, selling its entire New Zealand crop well before the end of the year, as it moves quickly towards generating a billion dollars of sales revenue.

In 2020, 1.9 million tray carton equivalents (TCEs) of New Zealand grown Envy™ were sold, a 23% increase on the previous year across the USA, China and Asia. This is part of a wider Envy™ sales programme of 5 million TCEs per annum, grown in both hemispheres. With this strong momentum, by 2025 Envy™ will be a billion-dollar brand.

T&G Chief Executive, Gareth Edgecombe, says despite the volatility and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, Envy™ sales have been incredibly strong and the company is moving quickly to plant new trees to meet global consumer demand.

“In the premium apple category there are many new and established varieties, however Envy™ continues to be a standout performer. This year it delivered returns on average of NZD45.00 per TCE to our growers – that’s very close to what we targeted before COVID-19, which is a great return when we know many varieties have had low returns this year. The strength of the brand and its orcharding qualities means growers have the potential to make over 15% return on their investment, once their orchard is at full maturity,” says Gareth.

“Globally, there’s incredible appetite for Envy™. Independent research has forecast that we need at least another 25 million TCEs by 2030 to meet potential consumer demand, especially in China, Vietnam, Thailand and the USA. Recent planting will soon produce another 10 million TCEs per annum, and we’re investing in market development programmes and further supply growth to make the most of the brand’s significant long-term potential.

“Envy™ is one of the real success stories in New Zealand’s horticultural sector – it harnesses incredible Kiwi IP and delivers strong returns to our growers, communities and shareholders. In the 12 years since we first released Envy™ to Kiwi growers, it’s now grown under licence in 13 countries, sold to consumers in over 60 countries, and in 2019 was voted the number one apple for taste, appearance and texture by consumers in the USA,” says Gareth.

Envy™ is a brand many Kiwis won’t be familiar with, as the majority of sales are offshore. The apple – developed by T&G’s partners at Plant and Food Research in 2008 – is ‘Scilate’ variety, which is the result of a cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn. It’s a large apple with bright red skin, a fantastic crisp crunch, and a perfectly balanced sweet flavour.

“This season’s sales reinforce the global demand we’re seeing for the brand. As a result of Envy™ selling out early in the season, our sales team had to scramble to move product around to keep our retail programmes going for as long as possible. This positioned us well for a strong start to our northern hemisphere growing season, with these apples beginning to arrive in-market last month.”

In November 2020, T&G won Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Asia Fruit Logistica 2020 Awards for its marketing activities for its two premium apple brands, Envy™ and JAZZ™.