As Chinese consumers become more and more interested in South African apples, exports to China saw a strong start in the 2021 season. The export volume of the new apple season is expected to set a new record. On June 10th, Hortgro Pome and Fruit Day brought the first ceremony of its kind to celebrate the start of the South African apple season.
Themed “beautiful country and wonderful fruits”, the event led consumers to experience South Africa’s unique growing environment, apple varieties, and thriving industry. Mpho Anna Hlahla, Consul General of the South African Consulate General in Shanghai, and Siphokazi Hermans, the Political Deputy Consul of the South African Consulate General in Shanghai, attended the event. Mr. Jacques du Preez, Trade and Marketing Manager of Hortgro, sent his good wishes through an online video. Ms. Huang Jing, Head of Fruit Supply Chain of Fruit Day and City Shop, also attended the event to celebrate this occasion.
Guests celebrating the start of 2021 South Africa apple season
Unique South African apples
Unique climatic conditions and ideal geographical conditions make South African apples unique in appearance, texture, and taste. Most of the orchards there are in the Western Cape, one of the apple-growing areas closest to the equator in the world. The temperature there is higher and the sunlight is more abundant. Thanks to full photosynthesis, the apples there are uniquely endowed with "sunkissed" sweetness and colors. They are in red and yellow, or striped red or flaky red, or light green. The fruity aroma, compact size, sweet and crunchy texture are the deepest impressions left to consumers.
“Sunkissed" South African apples
The export volume of South African apples in 2020 reached 46% of the total production. Its high-quality apples are well received by the African, European, American, Middle Eastern, and Asian markets, which allows the country to establish a prosperous modern export-oriented apple industry. By making large investments to build advanced packaging and cold storage facilities, the industry has made it possible to supply all year round. Each year from April to May, the late autumn season in the southern hemisphere, South African apples gradually arrive at the Chinese market, and the supply reaches its peak in June.
Developing Chinese market with great momentum
Since entering the Chinese market in January 2015, South African apples have remained popular with Chinese consumers. The export to China in the 2021 season has seen a strong start. As of the 21st week (May 30), the export volume to China reached 7,198 tons (575,838 cartons, 12.5 kg/carton). Compared with 277,635 cartons in the same period last year, the export volume has more than doubled year on year.
South African apples marketed in City Shop
With the rapid growth of the planted area in South Africa and newly planted trees coming into production, the global export is expected to increase this season. For Chinese importers, distributors, and retailers, the biggest advantage of South African apples this year is the abundant supply and more diverse varieties.
In addition to Royal Gala, Flash Gala has also performed very well in the Chinese market this year. The peel of this variety is in a burgundy color that is bright and vibrant, and the sweetness is very high, which is in line with the preferences of Chinese consumers. In addition, with the increasing volume of arriving Fuji apples suitable as healthy snacks for children, the export volume of South African apples to China will start to reach a peak.
Fruit Day continuing to develop the Chinese market
“Since apples from South Africa gained access to the Chinese market in 2015, our apple exports to China have grown rapidly, and China has become an important export market for our apples. ” Ms. Mpho Anna Hlahla, Consul-General of South Africa’s Consulate General in Shanghai, said at the event that marks the start of the South African apple season, “This achievement is inseparable from excellent Chinese partners like Fruit Day. South African apple exports to China will continue to grow in the future, and during the period of increasing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, the attention and promotion Fruit Day gives to South African fruits is a landmark event and very meaningful. I hope that we can continue to work together to develop the Chinese market and promote high-quality fruits and products of South Africa."
Speaking of expectations for the Chinese market, Mr. Jacques du Preez, Trade and Marketing Manager of Hortgro, said with confidence: “South African exporters are very optimistic about China’s market potential. The apple industry looks forward to exporting more apples to China. We will carry out more promotional activities and discount offers so that Chinese consumers will have more opportunities to experience our apples first hand.”
In 2015, Core Fruit, one of South Africa's largest fruit exporters, exported its first container to China. Fruit Day is the first company in China to sell the product online. Ms. Huang Jing, Head of Fruit Supply Chain at Fruit Day and City Shop, said: “Chinese consumers have a huge appetite for apples. The South African apple production season coincides with the growing season in China; this creates an excellent market opportunity. The unique aroma and taste also meet the preferences of Chinese consumers. We are very pleased to create a seamless connection between supply and demand with our global selection and supply chain, to bring global high-quality fruits to Chinese consumers."
The variety marketed on Fruit Day this season is Fuji, and the product is marketed under the name "South Africa golden brick Fujis”. They are currently available on the Fruit Day app. At the same time, the "South African Apple Season" tasting event is held in City Shop stores nationwide, and discount offers are also available online and offline. If you wish to try the new season South African apples, don't miss these opportunities.
About Fruit Day and City Shop
Founded in 2009, Fruit Day is a leading fresh food retail company in China. With the vision of “giving easy access of good fruits and fresh produce to all”, they have achieved the ultimate price-performance ratio and truly made good products affordable. The company adopts a membership-based consumption model for middle-class families, and only selects direct suppliers of fresh fruits with high-quality origin and varieties and excellent qualifications and reputation. They have set foot in over a hundred of countries and regions in six continents, and have introduced many "firsts" in China as a pioneer and early adopter in the fresh fruits and produce industry.
Established in 1995, City Shop is well-known in Shanghai for its gourmet foods from all over the world. Because of its high-quality products and friendly service, it gained high praises from foreigners and local customers who love exotic cuisine. City Shop offers nearly 15,000 commodities, of which more than 80% are imported. It is a well-known supermarket chain in Shanghai that specializes in imported foods and daily necessities, with most known products including dairy products, meats, wines, western seasonings, sweets, and organic vegetables. There are currently 8 stores in Shanghai, and all stores offer instant home delivery service. If a customer makes an order on the WeChat mini program and is within 3 kilometers of the store, products can be delivered in as fast as 29 minutes.