Analysis Chile World

“Chilean plums enter peak supply period”

"Chinese market supply is more than sufficient, and the price is stable"

This is the peak period for stone fruit imports in China. One of the market favorites is the European plum from Chile. “The supply volume of Chilean plums is rather large this year. The product quality and the price were both good in the beginning of the season and market feedback was excellent. However, the product quality became unstable in the middle of the season,” according to Brian Hu, spokesperson for Shanghai Now Frutti Co., Ltd.

“Most of the imported plums in the Chinese market come from Chile and Australia. Australian import plums enter the Chinese market in December and their supply season continues until around the 10th of March in the subsequent year, while the supply season of Chilean plums begins in February and continues until the middle of April. The peak period of Chilean plum supply takes place around the 20th of March.”

When talking about the unique characteristics of Chilean plums, Brian explained, “Australian plums are often flown in, while Chilean plums arrive via sea. The transport costs are different and that is why the retail prices are not comparable. As for product quality, we find the product quality control of Chilean plums quite ideal. For example, Chilean processing facilities filter out the plums that are not entirely satisfactory in terms of product quality and use them in dried plum products instead. Only the plums with great product quality are sold as fresh fruit. They do not sacrifice product quality standards to meet export goals.

“Australian plum plantations enjoy excellent natural conditions. The farmers harvest the plums and immediately pack them in standard packaging, while Chilean plum growers customize different packaging methods based on consumer demand.

“For example, the standard packaging is a large 9kg box, but for air-freight the plums are packed in 5kg bags. The smaller bags help defray the transport cost without raising the retail price too much. China is an important export market for Chilean plums, so Chilean plum suppliers are eager to adjust their methods to meet the specific Chinese market demands. China is not the most important export market for Australian plum suppliers. Moreover, they have to factor in labor costs and local market conditions. That is why Chile and Australia are two very different production areas.”

Brian also explained that Chilean plums come in various packaging sizes including 9kg boxes, 5kg boxes, and gift boxes with 6 or 3 plums each. The gift boxes are popular during Chinese Spring Festival [2 February, 2022], but so are the larger boxes as Chinese retailers will buy larger boxes and manually repackage them in smaller gift bags of 1/2/3 kg. However, because the supply volume of Chilean plums has not yet reached the level of Chilean cherries, their packaging methods have not yet diversified as much. The focus is still on product quality.

Now Frutti has several brands, but many of their fruit is sold under ‘Disney’ brands. That is the image that most consumers are familiar with. Now Frutti obtained authorization from the Walt Disney company to use the Disney brand on fresh fruit, dried fruit, and frozen fruit products. The authorization extends to iconic cartoon images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The Disney brand includes a variety of imported fruits such as oranges and tangerines, apples, cherries, blueberries, and lemons, as well as some premium domestic fruits and dried or frozen fruit products. The Disney brand promotes seasonal fruits and provides a year round supply of fresh fruit. Moreover, the brand combines online and offline retail methods to connect directly with consumers.

Fuente: Fresh Plaza


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