The Chilean fruit export industry is very serious about marking their presence in the Chinese market and winning over consumers with the rich flavors and high quality of their products. This time, the spotlight was on the Chilean blueberries and avocados, which shone in the FHC Pastry and Bakery Competition, held in the framework of the Food and Hotel China (FHC) 2016, in which the Chilean blueberry and avocado industries are participating for the first time with a striking stand.
"This fair has proven to be a unique and ideal platform to promote our avocados and blueberries in the HORECA channel in China. The FHC has a massive attendance of representatives of restaurants, chefs, casinos, and hotel purchasing managers, among other key players in the Food Service industry. Our salad with blueberries and our pasta with avocado won first prize in each category," said Charif Christian Carvajal, Marketing Director for Asia and Europe at Asoex.
In turn, Juan Enrique Lazo, the general manager of the Chilean Hass Avocado Committee, celebrated the triumph of the pasta with Chilean Hass avocado sauce and said that the industry's participation in the FHC Fair was the second major promotional action the sector had performed with ASOEX, within the stablished promotion activities in China for the 2016-2017 season. The first activity was participating in the Asia Fruit Logistica.
"Our participation in this fair has allowed us to fully meet our objectives. We wanted to show our Hass avocados and present different ways of consuming and preparing it to our target audience, which includes restaurants, chefs, and the people in charge of purchasing products for the final consumer and we achieved this goal.We had a very attractive stand and we were strategically located within the fair, which meant many great chefs visited our cooking shows. Having won in the pasta category with a preparation based on our avocados makes us even happier. It was the perfect grand finale," Lazo said.
The leader also said they have various promotional activities planned, such as participating in fairs and sales point, where they will focus on educating the Chinese consumer as to when and how to consume Chilean Hass avocado, as well as the different ways to consume it to have a pleasant experience and tasty consumption.
Cesar Suarez, the director of the Commercial Office of ProChile in Shanghai, highlighted the efforts and the joint work that public and private sectors have done so that the promotional activities of Chilean fruit in China are successful. He also highlighted the growth of national exports and the importance that Chile had in the Chinese market, where it is seen as a reliable supplier of quality fruit. "The results of Chilean fruit in China have been simply spectacular. We've had a remarkable and steady progress and, as the data from Asoex shows, exports of Chilean fruit to the Chinese market have been remarkable, as they've increased by 18 times in 8 years. Additionally, according to the Chinese Customs, Chile is one of the 4 biggest suppliers of fruit for China. Chile is the only non-Asian country in this list and ranks second, only surpassed by Thailand, and followed by Taiwan and the Philippines. There is no doubt that our efforts are paying off, as Chile is one of the most remote nations to some of China's ports of entry," Suarez said.
The winning recipes
Ricardo Gonzalez and Tomonori Gotoh, top international chefs based in Tokyo, were responsible for preparing the winning dishes. Gonzalez and Gotoh said the goal of their recipes was to show and teach people different and creative ways of using Chilean avocados and Chilean blueberries, to create tasty dishes, such as pasta with avocado and a blueberry salad.
"We have prepared two dishes, the first of which was avocado milk sauce with onions and oregano, decorated with cilantro. People don't normally use avocado with pasta here, so our preparation was rated as highly original and innovative by those who tasted it. The pasta we prepared was accompanied with shrimp, and it was served on dishes that mimicked shells. The pasta, the avocado sauce, and the shrimp were served with a slight touch of Parmesan cheese and olive oil," stated the Chilean chef, Ricardo Gonzalez, who traveled with Gotoh from Japan to support the Chilean fruit industry in this culinary contest.
"We wanted to make a super salad with blueberries so we decided to accompany it with couscous and lentils, garnishing everything with vinegar, mint, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon," Gonzalez said.
FHC China is a major international fair, with more than 20 years of history, where each participating country shows the best of their food and beverages. The fair offers a variety of products in the foodservice industry (hotels, restaurants and catering), and lectures on the latest developments in the sector, including the manufacture of food and beverage products.
The event was held from November 7 to 9 and it was attended by 1,820 exhibitors from 70 countries and over 33,000 visitors.