It’s no mystery that Chilean cherries have become the favorite fruit of Chinese consumers, not only because of their sweet taste and quality, but also because their round shape and red color are symbols of prosperity and good fortune. They have become the perfect gift for celebrations around the Chinese New Year, as was the case this past February 10th, when a new celebration took place.
“We are very optimistic about this 2023-2024 season. The condition and quality of our fruit have been good, as producers and exporters understand the importance of quality for the sustainable development of the industry in the future. Therefore, in the early varieties, which were more affected by spring rains but did not suffer damage, priority was given to air shipments, thus ensuring the condition of the fruit. So far, we have managed to export significant volumes, especially to China, the main destination for our cherries, where we have exported 373,484 tons so far, showing a growth of 2.54% compared to the same period last season, marking a record volume. We are encouraging consumption through various promotion actions at the retail level, social media, wholesale markets, as well as contests,” said Claudia Soler, executive director of the Chilean Fruit Cherry Committee.
She also added that marketing efforts were strengthened during the first 10 days of February to stimulate rapid fruit rotation during that period.
Likewise, she highlighted the efforts made by the Committee to open new entry ports for Chilean cherries. One such case is the port of Tianjin, with which they began coordinating this possibility during a visit in 2023, to directly reach the entire northern area of China, mainly Beijing and its surroundings, with fruit of excellent quality and condition.
“This port is very close to the Gaobeidian Wholesale Market, which is currently one of the largest wholesale markets for top-quality fruit in northern China, a market that has enormous potential for our cherries and is very interested in developing the category,” she added.
Regarding total exports worldwide, the professional anticipated that “volumes are around 410,000 tons, which represents a slight decrease of 1.3% compared to the same period last campaign. All of this leads us to think that, so far, this season will be – in general terms – the second campaign with the highest volumes of Chilean cherry exports.”
Regarding destinations, Soler commented that 94% of exports have been sent to Asian markets, followed by the United States (3%), Latin America (2%), and around 1% to Europe, Canada, and the Middle East.
Consumption and Promotions
Regarding consumption, the executive director of the Committee pointed out: “So far, and also during our recent visit to the markets of China, Taiwan, and Korea, we have seen a very good reception from consumers for our cherries, which is repeated in all our target markets. The fruit is rotating well.”
As for promotions, the professional recalled that this season a three-year strategy was developed, “which will be a kind of roadmap to face the expected increases in production and export in the future.”
She added: “With this strategy, we seek, in addition to preparing for future volume increases, to give greater continuity and focus to the campaign. Therefore, we identified 24 cities as geographic focus, which were segmented into three groups, according to the objective pursued in each one. Likewise, the target group to which the campaign is directed was segmented. This segmentation initially has three target groups, identifying in each of them the needs and consumption habits, according to the stage of life in which each one is.”
Finally, she commented that the promotional program includes activities on social networks and work with Key Opinion Leaders (KOL), promotions with the main e-commerce platforms, press monitoring, activations in retailers, fruit shops, and wholesale markets, with the delivery of promotional material and tastings, among other activities.