On Tuesday, July 21, ASOEX held the Webinar "China: Current Situation and Challenges for the Fruit Export Season 2020-2021", which included the participation of Patti Sun, CEO of Daymon Worldwide China, and Alexandre Ouairy, a freelancer for Publicis, TBWA, DDB, and co-founder and director of Ideo PLTFRM.
"In 2015 China imported about 800,000 tons of temperate fruit, a volume that increased to 1.4 million tons in 2019," said Charif Christian Carvajal, moderator of the event and ASOEX Marketing Director for the Asian and European markets. The main species imported by the Asian country in 2019 were citrus (39% of all temperate fruit imports), table grapes (20%), cherries (13%), kiwis and apples (9%), plums (6 %), nectarines and peaches (2%), and blueberries and pears (1%).
" China's fruit imports amounted to $ 3.9 billion in 2019. 34% of this amount corresponded to temperate fruits from the southern hemisphere and Chilean fruit exports account for 50% share of that value," he said. "In 2015, we sent 233,455 tons of fresh fruit to China, while in 2019, we exported 449,575 tons, reflecting a 93% increase in the period," he added.
Regarding the projection of fruit consumption in the Chinese post-pandemic market, the ASOEX professional said that "according to a Fresh Intelligence study, imports of temperate and tropical fruits from 2020 to 2025 are expected to increase by 5.9 to 9.3 million tons, i.e. around 9.5%, but 75% of this increase corresponds to tropical fruits and 25% to temperate fruits."
Regarding the post-pandemic trends so far, Sun highlighted the growth of specialty stores like Hema and the expansions of smaller, neighborhood stores geared toward offering better food service to the surrounding community, for example, by using 3R strategies (ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat, and ready-to-cook), supported by packagings that maintain freshness and adapt to distribution. "We have also seen that the stores have created areas where they sell fresh products with no chemicals, as in the post-pandemic era there is an increase in consumer health awareness."
Further growth of e-commerce
Alexandre Ouairy highlighted the increase there's been in China's e-commerce since the start of the pandemic, which, he observed, is being promoted by a government plan to improve technology in China, as a measure of economic revival. "There was a rising trend in e-commerce and the use of digital platforms to promote products in China, but this increased significantly during the pandemic."
"This year, e-commerce is expected to account for 40% of retail consumption, with an increase of 50% for international premium brands and categories," he stated.