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Chilean Cherries Conclude 2023/24 Season With Record China Exports

March 18, 2024

By week 9 of 2024, Chile’s cherry exports for the 2023/24 season had reached 413,979 metric tons. Notably, the Chinese market accounted for approximately 377,000 metric tons of this total, representing a remarkable 91.1% share and reinforcing China’s status as the primary export destination for Chilean cherries.

This season, Frutas de Chile, formerly known as the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, remained dedicated to refining various aspects of the supply chain, such as production, logistics and market penetration, to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality cherries to Chinese consumers. Concurrently, efforts were directed toward diversifying packaging, aiming to convert Chilean cherries from a festive indulgence to a daily fruit for snacking.

After years of experience promoting fruit to the Chinese market, the marketing activities conducted by Frutas de Chile have become increasingly localized, encompassing a range of strategies that have earned recognition from distributors and consumers alike. In terms of promotions, the slogan “a bite of happiness to my life” was crafted to establish an emotional connection with a range of different consumer lifestyles, aiming to evoke feelings of joy and satisfaction associated with enjoying Chilean cherries.

During the peak arrival period for Chilean cherries, representatives from Frutas de Chile and its Chilean Cherry Committee visited a number of wholesale markets across China. They communicated key updates about the crop and promotional activities to local importers and wholesalers, while also relaying the latest market trends to Chilean growers and exporters.

This season, Frutas de Chile prioritized expansion into regional cities, with Wuhan, Qingdao, Hangzhou and Chengdu identified as strategic targets, alongside ongoing efforts to penetrate their surrounding markets. A delegation from Frutas de Chile embarked on city visits for the first time, engaging in face-to-face interactions with retailers and consumers to strengthen their presence in these areas.

In terms of online activities, Frutas de Chile continued its collaboration with major Chinese e-commerce companies, conducting promotional activities across a range of platforms including JD.com, Tmall, Pinduoduo and Douyin while increasing focus on rapidly growing on-demand platforms such as Pupu and Ele.me with joint social media promotions, livestreams and flash events intended to drive category awareness and sales.

The online popularity of Chilean cherries can also be credited to the impact generated by top internet celebrities across various social media channels. This season, Frutas de Chile collaborated with 200 influencers on platforms such as Xiaohongshu, Douyin and Weibo. These influencers released a variety of cherry-related videos to promote the positive lifestyle associated with cherries, further boosting their appeal among online audiences. Additionally, the highly anticipated lucky draw event unfolded as scheduled. With over 255,000 participants this season, this annual campaign again made a significant contribution to both online and offline sales.

The period between late December and mid-February signifies the peak sales season for Chilean cherries. This season, the Chilean cherry sector joined hands with 19 major retail chain brands nationwide, coordinating more than 12,000 promotional events across 86 cities over 54 days. These activities were strategically timed to coincide with significant consumption occasions, including Christmas, New Year’s Day, Spring Festival and Valentine’s Day. During the sales season, over 3,700 fruit chain stores, such as Greenery Fruit, Xianfeng Fruit, Uncle Fruit, Pagoda, Wellfruit and Panguo, dedicated their efforts to marketing Chilean cherries.

Even with the conclusion of the 2023/24 Chilean cherry season, cherry growers in Chile are diligently gearing up for the next harvest. At present, the cultivation area for cherries in Chile has reached 61,559 hectares, with only 65% currently in production. Over the next four years, more than 20,000 hectares of orchards are expected to come into production, with output projected to reach a record-breaking 851,000 tons. The cherry supply chain, connecting Chile and China across a vast distance, is thus set to continue generating mutually beneficial opportunities for the people of both countries.

Images: Frutas de Chile

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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