According to retail monitoring and NielsenIQ consumer satisfaction surveys, domestic table grape consumer acceptability went up slightly in 2023, Whist consumer acceptance didn’t reach the target level of 80 per cent, the Australian table grape industry received an average of 78 per cent, a positive result given challenging growing conditions which affected maturity, particularly in the early part of the domestic season. This was a significant increase on 71 per cent in 2022.
The Australian Table Grape Association set the 80 per cent consumer acceptability benchmark in October 2019 as part of the ongoing minimum maturity standards (MMS) program. The project team determined through extensive monitoring and evaluation that an increase in Brix and decreased variability would lead to a more consistent eating quality, higher acceptability, more trust and increased consumer loyalty.
White grapes in general were variable in meeting MMS throughout the season, and Thompson grapes had particular issues with meeting Brix requirements at the later part of the storage program.
Red grapes performed particularly well in comparison to other grape types. MMS was consistently met except during the first few weeks of the season with Crimson grapes being the outstanding performer over a long season for the variety.
Black grapes performed well in most weeks of the season but also had individual weeks with low Brix levels across the season.