Fashion Foods Ltd is a category enhancement and innovation enterprise created by Bill & Erica Lynch of Redwood Valley in the Tasman Region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, dedicated to management of their plant breeding programmes, intellectual property, and brand management.
Over the past 25 years Bill and Erica have committed considerable resources to improving the taste, then appearance of pipfruit varieties grown on their family orchards in the Tasman District.
While market forces strove to prioritise visual appeal in new apples, this was often at the expense of flavour, as has been witnessed in the widely planted Royal Gala apple variety with steadily discounted taste over a period in preference for increased colour.
Presently Fashion Foods is progressing 7 promising new apple selections from their breeding programmes and have another 96 at early stages of evaluation. Their selections must exhibit outstanding taste attributes to progress to trial status – hence Fashion Foods motto is “flavour first”
Current leading frontrunners of their programme are two promising new apples bred form the mostly now abandoned old Heritage Gala variety. These two selections are nearing global commercialisation and Plant Variety Rights (plant patents Mondaju and Berica) applications have been filed.
These Heritage Gala Selections were chosen from over 1000 trialists evaluated over a 20 year period. They recapture the strong flavours and aromas of bygone days that were lost in cosmetic pursuits of the Royal Gala apples’ development.
Besides the restored strong flavours of the parent Heritage apples, both apples have striking visual appeal, with vivid pink / orange foreground over 80% + of the fruit, complemented by a pale lemon background. Their appearance and flavours are discerningly different. Trials have established their “grower friendly” habits, harvest timing ahead of Royal Gala, and excellent long term storage that exacerbates the vivid colours.