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Chile Wraps Up Successful Table Grape Campaign With New Varieties on the Way
The Chilean Table Grape Committee of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) has successfully concluded its China table grape promotional campaign for the 2021/22 season. Now, as this season’s peak recedes into the rearview mirror, Chinese traders and retailers can already look forward to new table grape varieties that will start becoming available from Chile for the 2022/23 season.
Chile is one of the top suppliers of table grapes to China. From January through May of this year, China imported more than 65,000 metric tons of Chilean table grapes with a value exceeding 1 billion Chinese yuan ($149 million), according to data from China Customs. This included more than 33,000 metric tons in May alone.
The Chilean Table Grape Committee’s April retail promotion reached a larger scale than ever before, with eight supermarket and hypermarket partners compared with six last season and 1,200 in-store sessions compared with 990 last season. These partners included Sam’s Club, Olé, Hema (Freshippo), Walmart, RT-Mart, Yonghui, Auchan and CR Vanguard. The committee also partnered with China’s largest chain of fruit shops, Pagoda, for in-store promotions.
This season, the relatively new grape cultivar Muscat Beauty was shipped to China. Known as “mumeiren” in Chinese (“mu” from “Muscat” and “meiren” meaning “beauty”), this variety is characterized by a pink skin and a firm, seedless flesh that stands up well to transport and storage. Its firmness, excellent flavor and ability to maintain freshness for 45–60 days after harvest make it ideal for export. Distributors have indicated that this variety may be a good match for consumers in China, who have enthusiastically embraced the floral aroma of these grapes.
Growers in Chile reportedly also have many new grape varieties in the development pipeline, and the rise of seedless grape varieties is an inevitable trend in table grape production. New varieties of grapes developed in Chile are expected to keep hitting China and other export markets in the coming years.
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