As a niche vegetable food, in recent years, green asparagus has become more and more recognized in the Chinese market, and the planting area has been expanding year by year.
"With the upgrading of consumption in the domestic market, green asparagus has gained more attention." In a recent conversation, Mr. Liu Xiaosuo from Jiangsu Nantong Runsen Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. spoke about the development of green asparagus to Freshplaza.
"Green asparagus was only grown in Chongming Island, Shanghai at the beginning, and later expanded to Jiangsu, Henan, Shandong, Yunnan, Fujian and other places. The production seasons of each place are different so green asparagus can basically be supplied throughout the year. In terms of market distribution, green asparagus is the most popular among young people. Regionally, Shanghai and Fuzhou sell the most. In terms of sales channels, e-commerce is ideal. It is mainly used in the catering and hotel industries," said Mr. Liu, giving an overview of the development of green asparagus in China.
"The season with the highest production of green asparagus is from January to mid-March. This year's production season is the year with the highest price in the past five years. During the period from New Year's Day to the Spring Festival, the wholesale price is as high as ￥140/kg, and the minimum is ￥70-80 /kg, while in the same period of previous years, the highest price was only ￥30/kg, an increase of more than four times.
"The reason is that the temperature in the Shanghai production area was too high from October to November last year, which means we didn’t get the low temperature required for asparagus growth.
"As a result, the output has decreased by 60 to 70% compared with previous years, the market is seriously out of stock but the demand is brisk, and the price has increased several times. After that, with the change in temperature, the output and price returned to normal. The current wholesale price is about ￥12-￥13/kg. Although asparagus grows slowly this season, it tastes sweeter.
Talking about the market performance of green asparagus this year, Mr. Liu said that it is obviously better than in previous years. As green asparagus is used more in the catering industry, the pandemic has affected the sales of green asparagus in the catering industry. However, this year, the prevention measures have been relaxed, and the smooth flow of customers has boosted sales. In addition, in terms of daily purchases by the public, the recognition of green asparagus in Shanghai is relatively high and is increasing year by year, and more local consumers prefer to buy green asparagus on online platforms.
"In order to enhance the experience, one of our green asparagus products only retains 17.5 cm in the middle stem. This is the whole tender part that does not need to be processed after purchase. The price is high but it is popular in the market. In addition, in July this year, we will add 80 hectares of high-standard farmland to develop more fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and carrots. At the same time, it will also apply for Hong Kong supply certification and GAP certification. "
Nantong Runsen Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. focuses on the cultivation of green asparagus. It has its own 26.6 hectares of greenhouse planting base, a factory, cold storage and a warehouse of 4,000 square meters. Sales channels include primary wholesale markets in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, as well as various e-commerce platforms for fresh food.