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Two table grape businesses have merged and will take a larger share of the market with a range of snacking cups.

The table grape division of Perfection Fresh Australia will merge with FruitMaster and now trade as FruitMaster Australia.

Perfection Fresh Australia CEO and FruitMaster Australia director Michael Simonetta (pictured below) said the company expected to market two and a half million boxes of grapes this year.

“From a Perfection Fresh perspective, table grapes were the smallest of our categories,” he told PKN Packaging News.

“We wanted to have more significant market share in this segment, and this merger makes us significant," he said.

FruitMaster is investing heavily in product innovation, with a new production line being installed at its Robinvale facility in Victoria.

This will enable the company to pack snacking cups of individual grapes as well as offer a dedicated line that meets protocol for some export customers.

“We use a new de-stemming process which ensures the grapes are kept intact at the point of sale,” Simonetta said.

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The team worked with a Melbourne-based packaging consultant to build the de-stemming plant, which enabled them to launch the Grape N' Go ready-to-eat brand.

“For table grapes this is very new,” Simonetta said.

“We've had fruit salad packaging like this for some time, but not individual serves of table grapes.

“People are constantly looking for healthy snacks that aren't processed, and with this product, which is washed and ready-to-eat, what you see is what you get.”

FruitMaster was already Australia’s largest exporter of table grapes and Simonetta said the merged business remained committed to increasing export volumes.

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