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Plum consumption still much lower

Peaches and nectarines find favour with South African consumers

More than 50% of the peaches and nectarines produced in South Africa are destined for the local market and during summer these fruit are very popular among all market segments. In general, however, South Africans aren’t yet large fruit consumers: plum consumption per capita, for instance, is less than 20% of European plum consumption.

“Our goal is to increase the sale of stone fruit with current consumers, but also to expand the market and gain new consumers,” says Jacques du Preez, general manager for trade and markets at Hortgro. He adds that the industry would like to introduce consumers to the new varieties that are available.

However, stonefruits are quite perishable as soon as they leave the producer and the fresh produce market. For this reason, the industry has called in fresh produce promotion specialist, Promofresh, to assist in fruit handling and the training of fruit traders so that the fruit, sold under informal conditions, reaches customers in excellent condition. “This, in turn, boosts sales, because the eating quality of the fruit as well the consumers’ experience improves,” Du Preez continues.

Through its network of over 1,200 informal traders countrywide, Promofresh started its campaign for Hortgro at the fresh produce markets in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, where they set up promotional stalls for peaches and nectarines during November and December 2015 and plums from the end of January to the beginning of March last year.

“We informed traders and retailers on various aspects of peach, nectarine and plum handling, ripeness, nutrition value and storage. Consumer brochures were handed to them in bundles to distribute to their customers,” says Ruth Behr of Promofresh.

Not all informal traders have the resources to visit the fresh produce markets themselves, and to reach them, Promofresh extended its campaign to transport hubs and townships over a wide area in the Western Cape and Gauteng to present them with fruit handling and food safety training as well as marketing skills. A total of 151 promotions and tasting sessions took place at informal markets and trading sites over the course of the stonefruit campaign.

“The Stone Fruit Traders App was used to document all interaction with the traders. All contact made with traders, including any interviews and sales promotions done, was logged onto the Promofresh Traders App. The Peach, Nectarine and Plum traders’ contact details, as well as their purchasing preferences and sales during promotions, was captured,” she explains.

“The traders show immense appreciation to advisors visiting them at their stands or trading sites,” comments Behr.

For more information:
Ruth Behr
Tel: +27 82 388 0100

Publication date: 4/20/2017
Author: Carolize Jansen
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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