Fruit Royale excited about new grape varieties from Mexico
Fruit Royale Inc. specializes in premium table grapes from across the globe. Seasonally, April represents a shift away from imports out of Peru and Chile. As those operations wind down the ramp-up of Fruit Royale’s season out of Mexico begins.
Headquartered in Delano, CA, Fruit Royale works directly with contracted growers on all aspects of fruit production, including growing, packing, cooling, storing, logistics and sales. “Fruit Royale has been in the grape business since 2004, our success comes down to providing a high-quality product, with great customer service, and staying ahead of the curve,” said Louie Galvan, managing partner.
While the last few years have provided plenty of challenges, Galvan is upbeat and positive, saying, “every day is a different opportunity.”
The current opportunity is table grapes out of Mexico. “Early season estimates from Fruit Royale put the total number in the 26 million box range,” said Galvan. The increase in volume represents roughly 10-15 percent over last year’s crop.
Galvan expects the first green seedless crossing into the U.S. around May 9, a slight delay to what looks to be a very strong season. Regarding peak promotion, Galvan said, “June should be a heavy production month as we expect over 70 percent of the Spring Mexican crop sometime during that month.”
Demand for table grapes is consistently strong and Galvan emphasized the continued move within the industry toward designer varieties. Fruit Royale is introducing two new IFG varieties to its Mexican programs this year — the Sweet Globe IFG-10 (green), and the Sweet Celebration, IFG-3 (red). “Both are huge, fantastic tasting varieties,” said Galvan.
Fruit Royale partners with IFG to develop premium varieties using classical Mendelian plant breeding with a very unique, diverse and flavorful genetic pool of grape varieties gathered from every corner of the globe. Fruit Royale plans carefully to assure maximum supply throughout each season to offer its tables grapes 12 months of the year.
While that promise — to consistently supply a sought-after commodity like table grapes — has faced numerous transportation challenges this year, Galvan said, “our Logistics team always finds a way.
“Although competition for transportation only increases, as more and more commodities join the fray from California and other parts of production in the U.S., the cost for trucking goes up,” Galvan said. While costs continue to rise across the production landscape, Galvan sees it as a company responsibility to protect the investments and continue to make grapes a profitable commodity and attractive.
While having a premium grape helps, Galvan said in selling grapes it all comes down to good information. “The more accurate information and projections available the more effective our marketing programs,” said Galvan.
Fruit Royale is currently promoting its Chilean Red seedless and anticipate promotional volumes for both Memorial Day and 4th of July pushes during its Mexican programs.Galvan and the team at Fruit Royale aim to deliver a steady supply of high-quality table grapes year-round, but notably this season from Mexico.