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Zespri aims for increased market growth in China

Zespri is setting its sights on doubling its sales figures in China within a five-year span, leveraging an anticipated boost in kiwifruit supply to the region for the current season, as highlighted by a company executive. The firm has projected a shipment of approximately 700,000 metric tons of kiwifruit to the global market this season, marking a 45 percent increase compared to the previous year. The 2023 season commenced in March.

For the Chinese market, which encompasses Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan, the expected supply is around 193,000 tons, showing a 40 percent increase from last year. Jiunn Shih, Zespri's chief marketing and innovation and sustainability officer, stated, "China represents our main market, accounting for 27 percent of Zespri's global supply." He noted a 42 percent increase in supply to the Chinese mainland this season, with significant growth observed within a few weeks of the season's onset. Shih also mentioned that the Chinese mainland has emerged as Zespri's largest market since 2022.

Shih attributed the increase in supply partly to favorable climatic conditions and the expansion of Zespri's production areas. Additionally, shifts in Chinese consumer preferences towards high-quality fresh fruits and a greater emphasis on health have played a crucial role. Zespri's comprehensive system ensures the highest quality of kiwifruit, focusing on aspects such as dry matter, sugar levels, and appearance.

In a recent statement, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon emphasized the importance of trade and economic relations with China for New Zealand's prosperity. Bilateral trade volume reached $23.24 billion in 2023, significantly increasing since the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement's inception in 2008. Shih expressed optimism about strengthening bilateral relations through Zespri's contribution to the trade exchange between New Zealand and China.

Zespri plans to expand its business volume in China, aiming to cover 88 cities, up from the current 72 cities and 57,000 retail outlets. The company is also looking to enhance its brand presence and promote healthy living in China by collaborating with organizations like the China Nutrition Society. The value of imported fruits and nuts entering Shanghai Port in the first four months amounted to 11.05 billion yuan, indicating a growing market for imported fruits in China.


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