China: How did Shatang and Wo oranges spread so quickly across the country?

The Shatang orange is a relatively early-season product variety. The orange gradually expanded its market share over more than 10 years and is already well-known throughout the country. The Wo orange is a relatively late-season, hybrid product variety. Its price is higher than the Shatang orange and stable, even though the product variety was more recently developed and introduced. Fruit farmers are therefore drawn to this new product variety, which closely followed Shatang oranges across the country.

Wo oranges have gradually become more popular in China in recent years. Major production areas are mostly located in Guangxi. In the initial phase the overall surface area devoted to Wo orange plantation only reached several hectares, but this area expanded to several tens of hectares in 2012. At that time the small-scale orchards gave farmers a taste of the potential of Wo oranges.

In the 6 years that followed, the surface area devoted to Wo orange plantation in China rapidly expanded and already exceeded 67 thousand hectares in 2018. When the Wo orange entered the market few people were familiar with this variety, so few people were willing to purchase them. As the number of consumers increased, and people became more familiar with the flavor of Wo oranges, several traders saw the commercial opportunity and began to promote Wo oranges. The Wo orange began to become well-known.

The market demand for Shatang oranges is quite stable. Even though Wo oranges are gaining in popularity, they still can not compete with Shatang oranges.

The greatest advantage of Wo oranges is that they ripen around January, and the trees continue to bear fruit until April. This means that their supply season does not overlap with the peak of Shatang orange sales, and the overall price does not drop because of bulk supply. The flavor of Wo oranges is at its best in March, which neatly coincides with a peak in market demand. The price of Wo oranges has been stable between 7-15 yuan [1.02-2.18 USD]. This product variety has unrivalled competitive strength.

Source: iFresh Fair

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