AU: Fruit growers benefit from Chinese e-commerce

One of the China’s fastest growing food e-commerce platforms,, is being used by millions of young Chinese consumers to order premium Australian fruit from their mobiles. 

With a turnover of $US160 million in 2015, the website sells mostly imported fruit and delivers it to customers wrapped in colourful packaging akin to giftwrapping. 

While its biggest suppliers are from the US, New Zealand and Chile, Australian imports are increasing.

Citrus Australia chief executive Judith Damiani said Fruitday customers love Aussie oranges so much they can’t keep up.

“When the website has a promotion on Aussie oranges they sell out completely. We can make sure they have stock ahead of the promotion but we don’t have air freight set up for China so it can be three weeks before the next stock can arrive by ocean,” Ms Damiani said.

Tasmanian apples grown by Andrew and Leeanne Scott are Australia’s first apples to feature on Fruitday. They take full advantage of the website’s white space to promote their brand, Tasmanian Tiger Fuji. Fruitday advertises the apples as being “sweetened by the Australian sunshine and full of vitamins and minerals”. The imagery is bolstered by an image with a fresh bowl of apples with an illustration of a map of Tasmania and, of course, a sketch of the Tasmanian devil. 

Apple and Pears Australia Limited market development manager Olivia Tait said e-commerce platforms weren’t good at moving bulk product but were ideal for exporters to raise brand awareness. 

She said demonstrable e-commerce success was a good way to prove demand for Australian products which can help in trade negotiations, too.

Fruitday is just one cross-border e-commerce platform which allows overseas exporters to sell directly to Chinese consumers.

The first of this summer’s fruit will hit Chinese shores in November and the industry’s peak body, Summerfruit Australia, is using the next few months to perfect its marketing strategy.

”We’re working hard to co-ordinate an orderly market introduction for growers and exporters that will include wet market, retail and e-commerce,” Summerfruit Australia chief executive officer John Moore said. 

Mr Moore said they would target popular Chinese e-commerce sites like to build relationships with Chinese consumers.

Plans were also underway to promote nectarines via social media, consumer tastings, and joint advertising ventures with retailers. 

Regular loads of Aussie nectarines will be sent via air and sea from November to April which will encompass the Chinese New Year and Sweeping Tomb festivals. 


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