Modi apples hit Aussie shelves early (Produce Plus)

The red-skinned, sweet crunchy apple Modi is hitting Australia’s retail shelves earlier than previous years, as volumes look to be around five times that of last season.

Freshmax Australia, which holds the exclusive license to grow and market the apple in Australia, will be supplying Coles, independents and wholesale markets across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland from March to August.

“As an earlier maturing variety, when compared to most other club varieties, Modi has a unique ranging window,” Matthew Crouch, Freshmax group marketing manager, told Produce Plus. “As ‘Australia’s Finest Italian’, Modi is uniquely positioned to align to all things Italian culture and prestige. But beneath this, there is uniqueness in flavour, championed by the recipes we developed; texture, with its superior crunch; and colouring, bringing us back to Modigliano’s famous paintings, from which the fruit is named.”

The year’s Modi season will be complemented by a bigger promotional push on social media, increased ambassadorial engagement and increased store presence and promotions.

Nutritionist Lyndi Cohen, head chef of Melbourne’s 400 Gradi Johnny di Franceso, and chef consultant Ian Curley have been announced as Modi’s three major ambassadors, while in-store activations will also run at Coles, Crouch says.

Andrew Maughan, Freshmax GM of IP and commercial, told Produce Plus that more hectares of Modi are being planted in Western Australia and Queensland.

“Modi is a good example of Freshmax driving IP varietal development and commercialisation in a controlled and engaging way for growers,” he said. “The Modi grower group is at the centre of all decisions made for the product each year.”

This article originally appeared in Produce Plus autumn.