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New Italian Kiwifruit Dulcis Hits Market

March 09, 2024

Dulcis, a new Italian kiwifruit variety, made its official market debut at last month’s Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin. Developed by the Italian company New Plant in collaboration with the University of Udine and University of Bologna, the Ac 459 011 variety, now marketed as Dulcis, boasts the taste and sweetness typical of yellow-fleshed kiwifruit such as Actinidia chinensis despite having a green flesh.

The new variety reportedly gives high yields of good-quality fruit, has strong resistance to disease and is well adapted to cultivation in warm climates. Global cultivation and sales are being jointly managed by three companies, namely, Alegra, Apofruit Italia and Orogel Fresco.

Although Dulcis has only recently entered the market, its cultivation in Italy is rapidly expanding. Trials began in 2019, and the planting area in 2020 was a mere five hectares. However, projections for 2024 indicate a cultivation area of 331 hectares, with production levels expected to double from last year to reach 798 metric tons. Forecasts indicate a potential output as high as 9,425 metric tons by 2027.

The 2023/24 season represents the first commercial campaign for Dulcis. The initial campaign focus is Europe, with supplies expected to be available from November to March each year. Italy remains the dominant market, with domestic sales accounting for 62%, followed by the Netherlands (14%), Germany (13%), Spain (8%) and Belgium (3%). Sales in Italy during the four weeks leading up to Christmas rose from 2 metric tons to over 10 metric tons. Additionally, in the first three weeks of this year sales grew from 8 to 14 metric tons. Total sales this season are expected to reach 300 metric tons, before increasing to 800 metric tons in 2024/25 and as much as 9,400 metric tons by 2027/28.

Consumer surveys conducted in various large retail stores across Italy revealed that 95% of respondents expressed interest in purchasing Dulcis after tasting it, with over 50% finding it sweeter than the popular Hayward variety.

Images: Dulcis Kiwifruit Company (main image), © 2024 Produce Report (body images)

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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