Japanese apples are now on the market. This is a very good season for Japanese apples with regards to quality and production volume. One exporter got off to a good start in terms of sales volume and customer satisfaction.
Takanori is a manager of the Japanese fruits export company Nihon Agri Inc. “This year, the weather conditions have been perfect for apples expect a few tragic typhoons recently. There was lots of sunlight, enough water and temperature difference between night and day, which has resulted in good coloring and solid shape for the fruits. The apple skins also have less scab compared to last season. Toki (green apple), early Fuji, Shinano Sweet & Jona Gold are already on the market. The export price is similar to previous years.” Takanori said.
Nihon-Agri’s main markets include Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hongkong and Taiwan. “Instead of using our company name, we use ‘Essence’ as the brand name in these markets, since we intend to deliver the natural characteristic of Japanese apples to consumers.” Takanori explains, “What we saw in recent years is that South-East Asian consumers pay increasing attention to fruit package design. We try to communicate the stories related to the fruits on the package, such as how it was produced, who produced it, or how it was shipped to the retailers.”
“We are collaborating with several supermarket chains in South-East Asian countries, where they placed a special ‘Essence’ shelf in the fresh section, with various types of products from our farms. Lots of customers get to know and become loyal buyers of our brand. When they need fruits, they just go to the ‘Essence section’.”
This year, Nihon-Agri will start to apply promotional tricks in their partner supermarkets to have better communication with consumers and then get better sales. “ In the condition where more and more people in SEA countries suffer from lifestyle diseases, we placed a POP sign beside our apple section, stating the health benefits of eating apples, our sales volume then boosted by 95%. We also tried to change consumer behaviour and placed a POP sign stating ‘Try to smell the apple’ (a good smell is one of the key aspects of our apples)m and our sales boosted by 51%.”
When talking about future plans, Takanori said, “Besides maintaining high-quality, we are more and more realizing the importance of having further communications with consumers. We hope to be able to sell larger volumes in our existing market, and let more people taste high-quality Japanese fruits.”