After the Christmas holidays, the Chinese supermarket chain Hema Fresh and the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (ASOEX) organized a big promotional campaign for fresh fruits with the first "Chile Week". The objective of this initiative was to provide a framework for the arrival of the New Year and announce that this season's Chilean fruits have already hit the shelves.
This "Chile Week" has been held from January 1 and its launch took place in one of the Hema Fresh stores in Shanghai. This launch was attended by the Global Supply Director at Hema, April; the Manager of Hema, Chuxi; the Marketing Director of ASOEX for Europe and Asia, Charif Christian Carvajal, and Eladio López, representative of the Hass Avocado Committee of Chile in China, who formally opened the event.
During the launch, the store featured a striking and colorful display of cherries, blueberries and avocados from Chile, which have been available throughout the "Chile Week." Information was provided to consumers about the presence of Chilean products, promoting the sale of these fruits.
It should be noted that Hema Fresh is a division of the electronic commerce group Alibaba Group. Since its launch in 2016, Hema has been growing rapidly. This is illustrated by the fact that in November of 2018, the chain opened its 100th branch earlier than previously planned, and now it expects to exceed 120 branches by the start of the Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival in early February.
Recently, Alibaba also announced that Hema Fresh would be taking over the management of Tmall Supermarket's fresh products division, which will drive further integration of Alibaba's online and offline sales and give a boost to its project to build a chain devoted to fresh products. Given the efforts of Hema Fresh to become a key player in the development of "new retailers" for fresh products in China, the Chilean export fruit industry has seen an opportunity to increase its presence and promotions by working together with the chain.
In her speech, the Global Supply Director at Hema, April, focused on the quality of the products sought by the chain, and the fact that Chile fully meets those standards. The professional added that Chile is a country that is very far from China and that fresh fruit is a highly sensitive product, which is why it is very important to keep the cold chain unbroken, with constant temperatures of between 0 and 4 ° C while in transit. She stressed that thanks to these procedures, the quality of Chilean cherries is very high this season, and that this will allow them to deliver the "flavor of the southern hemisphere" to all its customers. She also said that Hema has spent a lot of time planning the promotion of Chile Week.
The representative said that the promotion of "Chile Week" is taking place both online and offline simultaneously. April mentioned that the share of Hema's sales made through its application is very high, reaching up to 70%, and that this will allow more consumers to take advantage of the "Chile Week" promotion, with the home delivery of Chilean fresh fruits ordered through the application.
Hema reports that they will store a number of batches of Chilean cherries with the aim of targeting different consumer groups. The 5 kilo boxes are expected to be the most popular in the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, on February 4, since those are considered a very good gift, but also because they are suitable to be shared by friends and family.
For his part, Charif Christian Carvajal, Marketing Director of ASOEX, said that "China is a very important market for Chile and we are happy to be able to bring so many fresh fruits here. We express our gratitude for the hard work done together with Hema, the Hass Avocado Committee of Chile, the Blueberry Committee of Chile-ASOEX and the Cherry Committee of ASOEX. "Chile Week" 'is undoubtedly a great opportunity for hundreds of Chinese consumers to taste our delicious fresh fruit."
In the same line, Eladio López, representative of the Hass Avocado Committee of Chile, revealed that Chile's products have a great potential for development. López stressed that Chilean avocados are highly competitive in the Chinese market, as thanks to the Trade Agreement signed by Chile and China, these domestic fruits can be imported without tariffs. The professional added that Chilean avocados also enjoy the advantage of being available in China at a time when the avocados from other countries in the southern hemisphere are not.
Another Chilean fruit that is also gaining momentum as a favorite among Chinese consumers is the Chilean blueberry, which has the advantage of being available in the off-season, and with a growing trend in imports in recent years. In fact, the Blueberry Committee of Chile-ASOEX has made various efforts to promote this fruit in the Chinese market. They have showcased it in stands and organized tastings in points of sale, as well as activities in wholesale markets and online sales platforms. Moreover, there have been very creative and pioneering actions, such as the sale of Chilean blueberries in vending machines.
Charif reported that the promotional campaign for Chilean blueberries this season will begin in mid-January, with actions such as interactive events in theaters, where Chilean blueberries will be promoted as a sweet and healthy snack with which to enjoy the film.
According to April de Hema, the promotion of the "Chile Week" represents a first step in the cooperation work with ASOEX. Hema hopes to continue collaborating with ASOEX and its committees in order to deliver more quality Chilean fresh fruits to its customers.