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Rockit fired up for a record season

Globally loved Kiwi apple producer, Rockit is expecting a record high season following a few challenging years of Covid and cyclone-related disruption.

The 2024 year is expected to be a year of unprecedented growth for the Hawke’s Bay-based apple company.

Rockit will be exporting around 200 million apples in 2024, double last year’s volume.

For the first time, Rockit will be exporting all-year round from New Zealand to their expanding network of international markets.

“We have ambitious but achievable growth targets, and our aim is to become the world’s most-loved apple brand through our strong sales and marketing plan to help deliver a strong return for our growers following the challenges in 2023,” says Chief Executive, Mark O’Donnell.

“We always knew 2024 was going to be a big year, with our biggest harvest yet. However, the last couple of years were challenging after Covid hit at the peak of harvest which put enormous pressure on labour for picking and packing our crop. Then last year the cyclone took out a third of our apples.”

In 2024, Rockit has doubled their crop by increased planting and increased distribution channels to ensure a 12 month supply from Aotearoa.

O’Donnell says that this ensures consistent quality, especially as New Zealand apples provide a different taste profile to other countries.

Read more: Rockit and Abel Founder wins big at 2022 NZIBA

“We’re more than doubling sales in key global markets – China, the Middle East, Vietnam – and we’re expanding into newer markets we haven’t traditionally supplied, such as convenience channels targeting 7-Eleven and Circle K in North America,” he adds.

Mark O’Donnell.

Their success overseas only continues to grow, with 88 percent of premium consumers stating they love Rockit in a recent survey.

With their goal of exporting all-year round, Rockit is aspiring to be a year-round FMCG product, rather than seasonal.

O’Donnell says with this strategy, they will be able to engage with consumers in refreshing and energetic ways.

After working alongside the brands such as Minions in China and their very own character, Rocki, Rockit is working towards getting another exciting global IP partnership under their belt.

Winner of the Supreme Award at the 2022 New Zealand International Business Awards, and the 2023 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Team of the Year Award, Rockit is a Kiwi export and marketing success story, now selling into more than 30 different markets.

“We can’t wait to continue disrupting the apple category by doing things differently through our strong brand, marketing positioning and innovation as we take on the world one small bite at a time.”

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