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IFG: Early-Maturing Cherries and Exotic-Flavored Grapes To Gain Ground in 2023

January 30, 2023

International Fruit Genetics recently released its 2023 forecast for fruit-breeding trends with a focus on cherries and table grapes. According to the company, the market will soon see more grape varieties featuring unique flavors as well as increased production of low-chill cherry cultivars, with the latter being the industry’s response to global warming.

According to IFG, last year highlighted the negative impact of climate change on cherry production and this problem is expected to become more severe in 2023. To develop flowers and fruit, cherry trees require a certain amount of time spent dormant in cool temperatures. However, climate warming has shortened the chill time and caused an increase in winter temperatures, wreaking havoc on cherry crops worldwide. The introduction of new low-chill cherry varieties is considered a crucial step in the industry’s adaptation to fluctuating weather patterns.

Apart from developing heat-resistant cherry varieties, low-chill cultivars open the door for cherry breeders and growers in non-traditional planting areas, which should allow for improved production in warmer regions such as Southern California, Israel and Egypt, IFG said.

“The aim of a low chill cherry program is to go early and low chill, which means the fruit will require fewer chill hours during the course of a winter,” explained Alwyn van Jaarsveld, IFG’s international commercial cherry manager. He highlighted that by advancing the ripening period, cherry lovers will be able to enjoy the fruit ahead of the usual start of the season.

“We see these low chill cherries being planted in more locations than ever, allowing better maintenance of supply to retail,” continued van Jaarsveld. In his opinion, the new trend allows retailers to create a more stable supply and avoid customers becoming frustrated about the “now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t” availability of seasonal fruit. This adds another advantage to the new cultivars, making them a potential hit in 2023.

In regard to table grapes, IFG predicts that the market will see more varieties with exotic flavors that aim to satisfy the extravagant tastes of consumers. Over the past decade, the palates of grape lovers have become more sophisticated, forcing the industry to continue adjusting and developing new strategies. To surprise and to delight will be a motto of the current year.

“Today, table grapes can be spicy, minty, or have a tropical taste and aroma. Some taste a bit like toffee or strawberries – and imagine grapes that contain a slight floral or papaya accent,” said Jennifer Maguire, IFG’s international commercial table grape manager. According to IFG, more eclectic flavors can benefit not only fruit lovers but also retailers by offering them unconventional ways to market their products and thus increase their sales.

IFG is the world’s largest fruit-breeding company and currently owns patents for over 48 table grape varieties and 10 sweet cherry varieties. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Bakersfield, California, IFG patents and licenses its fruit varieties to marketers and growers across the globe.

Image: IFG

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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