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New Zealand packhouse sees high demand for luxury $100 cherry boxesAs Chinese New Year begins, a Cromwell cherry packhouse is surprised at the demand from China for its luxury box of cherries. The company sells a box of cherries for $100, or $2 per cherry. They have been on the market for three years now and continue to sell well.
New Zealand Cherry Corp national sales manager, Reece van der Velden, said it sold 2000 this year. They were brought out before Chinese New Year as that market "appreciated quality", he said.
"Gift-giving is an important part of the holiday and nutrition is very important to them. They also recognise the New Zealand origin as something pure."
This year the company tried to sell the packs within New Zealand online for $39 but met with wide criticism.
"We received a lot of negative feedback. People would compare them to the price at the supermarket, but that’s like comparing boutique wine to cask wine. But some people defended us, saying no-one has to buy them. We also have a lot of other options both online and in stores, and last year the cherries we sold locally were also determined to be export quality."
The cherries in the packs need to be large and completely defect-free. To ensure this the 3500sq m packhouse utilises its equipment which takes 72 photos of each individual cherry to determine colour, bruising and splitting.
"Only 1% of our cherries will be the right quality and size for these boxes. It would take six staff members two and a-half minutes to pack a box."
Publication date: 1/30/2017
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