It starts with the brand Premium Rossetta: the goal is to build a segmentation of the offer, with innovative cultivars with low environmental impact, as explained by Alida Stigliano, marketing and communication manager of the breeding company

A Strawberry Variety Club: brands that identify clear placements, based on different consumer clusters. And a segmentation of the offer to oversee the shelf up to 8-9 months a year. The enhancement project dedicated to all actors in the supply chain, nurseries, producers and distributors, comes from Nova Siri Genetics, breeding company of Policoro (Mt), specialized in research, experimentation and multiplication of innovative cultivars with low environmental impact. In these weeks the launch of the brand Rossetta (variety NSG 120), which identifies the Premium range of the Club offer, available from January to June. It stands out for its high shelf-life, medium-large caliber, uniform medium red colour, good flesh consistency and high brix grade. This will be followed by a promo-communication campaign aimed in particular at the B2B target, as explained by Alida Stigliano, marketing and communication manager.

How many varieties of strawberries have been developed so far by Nova Siri Genetics, how do they stand out and what calendar do they cover?

We experiment with cultivars with low cold needs, suitable for Mediterranean climates with characteristics that meet the specific market demands and guarantee the right remuneration for all the players in the supply chain. We patented in the years 10 varieties: the most common among southern producers is definitely Melissa, early, rustic and productive.

Most recently other three varieties have been introduced, NSG 120, NSG 203 e NSG 207: early cultivars, rustics and with optimal organoleptic characteristics, supplementary each other, because they are able to get the producers to offer to the market strawberries for almost 8 months at year. The NSG 120 variety is commercialized with the Rossetta brand, that begins to the Varietal Clun project. It is an early premium price, with a high Brix grade. The NSG 203 and NSG 207 are marketed with the Marimbella and Gioelita brands respectively. All varieties will be managed with the formula of the Varietal Club.

Marimbella is getting a lot of interest in Campania and Sicily for the high precocity and productivity. This allows to enter into production already in the autumn months and until late spring. Gioelita is characterized by an excellent shelf-life and texture of the flesh able to maintain its freshness for a long time, therefore to be exported even in more distant markets.

Shelf-life, taste, but among the parameters considered there is also the low environmental impact.

The aim of our research is to combine sustainability, organoleptic quality of fruits and precociousness, essential aspects to ensure continuity in the supply of strawberries.

The varieties Melissa and NSG 203 adapt very well to organic production methods and zero residue, being rustic and vigorous varieties that need reduced use of agromedicines. Our varieties are also suitable for hydroponics and all grown in a protected environment, given that the entry into production takes place in the winter months. Our project also provides technical support to producers in order to improve their cultivation techniques in terms of sustainability.

What is the purpose of the project?

Today there is no differentiation that allows the consumer to understand in front of a supermarket counter what the difference is between a strawberry or the other: often the choice is based on price. The aim of the Club is to differentiate its varieties on the market, telling and enhancing the characteristics that each variety of strawberry possesses.

The Club assists nurseries and producers, from the seedling to the final product on the shelf, also taking care of the pack, which transfers information thanks to the association of a brand.

2021 is the year zero of the project, which will have various phases. We have launched the varietal brand Rossetta and we also intend to launch other enhancement projects for the other two varietal brands Marimbella and Gioelita. The goal is to include in the Club all the varieties developed by Nova Siri Genetics. We want to create a harmonised supply chain.

What communication actions will be carried out in the near future?

B2B and B2C activities are planned, aimed at developing brand awareness with operators in the sector. Our target audience is mainly buyers, who are also involved in the Club’s project.

Why is the Club variety model increasingly being used today?

The Club allows to summarize the needs of the various actors in the supply chain: we listen to the needs of the market, producers, buyers, nurseries. You become the point of reference in the search for variety, knowing that behind it there is a teamwork.

What news about berries?

Our research is imitated not only in the search for new varieties of strawberries, but also other small fruits with low cold requirements, such as blackberries and raspberries, products increasingly required by the market.

Source: FreshPointMagazine