Chilean blueberries want to enhance their presence in France

France is an important market for Chilean fresh fruit. It ranks seventh as a destination within the total fruit shipped to Europe. During the 2014-2016 season, France received over 18,000 tons of fruits from Chile. i.e. 11.77% more than in the previous year, which shows that it is a market is increasingly consuming more Chilean fruit.

Thus, and seeking to strengthen the presence and consumption of Chilean blueberries, the Chilean Blueberry Committee, ASOEX, and ProChile defined a major promotion program.

In this regard, Andres Armstrong, executive director of the Chilean Blueberry Committee, said that, even though the French market recorded a lower consumption of blueberries per capita per year than the UK and Germany, there was a great potential for this fruit, which is rich in antioxidants and other beneficial properties for health, to grow.

"The French have an annual per capita consumption of 10 grams of blueberries. Their consumption is really low compared to the 500 grams annual per capita consumption in the UK and the kilo consumed in Germany, but it means that the country has an important growth potential. France imports 550 tons of blueberries, mainly from Europe," said Armstrong.

"France consumes a high volume of Chilean fruit in general. They don't import a large volume of Chilean blueberries so it is important to take actions that allow us, not only to enhance their presence in this market, but also to position our country as the main exporter of this fruit in the southern hemisphere. In addition, this is a known market for our industry and we have well-defined distribution channels, which favors the promotional campaigns we are starting today with specialized media," he added.

The start of promotional activities was held on Wednesday at ProChile's offices in France, with a meeting with representatives of specialized media, who have unveiled the characteristics of origin, quality, safety, taste, and availability of the Chilean blueberry. Pedro Duran, director of ProChile in France; Thenot Michel, representative of the Bookoplus Agency, which leads Chilean blueberry promotions in the European market, and Charif Christian Carvajal, Marketing Director of the Fruit Exporters Association of Chile AG (ASOEX) to Asia and Europe made presentations.

"This activity is of the utmost importance as this is a market where the consumption of these products is increasing. This is one of the many activities that we have defined given the excellent collaboration between the Blueberry Committee, ASOEX, and ProChile in European markets. We are working together to boost our products, which are widely accepted in France and Europe, where they still have a great opportunity to grow," said Pedro Duran.

Regarding the promotional activities, the representative of ASOEX said that apart form having this meeting with the press, they were also thinking about carrying out some promotions at one of the points of sale in some of the most important French retail stores, such as Aunchan and Monoprix.

"We chose to carry out actions in these chains during the months of January and February 2016 because they have a strong presence, both in the French market and internationally. Aunchan is a French group with more than 126 hypermarkets and 268 supermarkets in France, and it has an international presence in over 15 countries including China, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Taiwan and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Monoprix is also one of the largest supermarket chains in France, with over 300 stores and a presence in nearly 85% of the market," said Carvajal.

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