The e-commerce giant JD.com has signed an alliance with 18 fruit retailers from countries that are far away from China, such as Canada, the US, and Chile, to ensure the rapid delivery of their products from several countries.
With this alliance, JD plans to fly New Zealand kiwis, Canadian cherries, oranges and cherries from the west coast of the United States, and Chilean blueberries directly to China in 48 hours.
The alliance includes the Zespri brand of kiwis; South Africa's Capespan; American Strawberries by Driscoll; FruitMasters of the Netherlands, and Prize of Chile.
These companies would cooperate with JD in terms of 1) product packaging; 2) customized order of products; 3) exclusive sales of new products, and 4) expansion of sales channels. For example, JD is standardizing fruit packaging to prevent easily perishable products from spoiling during the transportation process.
"Unlike traditional blueberry packaging, our new packaging comes in a box with pores to avoid common problems in the transport of blueberries. With this processing, even Chilean blueberries can stay fresh for a longer period," said Xiaofeng Li, the director of Fresh Produce at JD Fresh.
In addition, JD Fresh will work directly with governments and companies in fruit importing countries to shorten the duration of imports. In order to be efficient over time, JD is currently working with agricultural companies in the use of drones and blockchain to shorten the time in which the fruit's quality is inspected.
These companies include Gesex, Sunview, Oneanta, Fruitmasters, and Agricom.
In addition to reducing transportation time, JD has identified specific groups of audiences for their online fruit business. For example, it would market pears and avocados specifically to mothers and babies.
According to JD, sales of imported fruit have increased steadily over the years. In 2016, the proportion of sales of imported fruit was 20%. This figure jumped to 45% in 2017, and then went up to 65% this year.
Avocados, grapes, oranges, cherries, and berries are among the favorite products for younger consumers who, according to JD, are the main buyers of fruit in e-commerce.
According to JD, the main customers are mostly young and highly educated consumers from middle to high income groups who are willing to spend on buying fruits online. These consumers put more emphasis on healthy and nutritional food.
Source: SimFRUIT according to Xinhua