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Chilean Cherry Season Wraps Up With Exports Exceeding 400,000 Tons

April 07, 2023

On March 27, Charif Christian Carvajal, marketing director for Europe and Asia at the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), delivered a WeChat lecture to over 1,000 listeners of Produce Report in which he shared the latest statistics for the 2022/23 Chilean cherry season.

According to Carvajal, Chile exported 415,315 metric tons of fresh cherries in the 2022/23 season, representing a year-on-year increase of 17%. China was still by far the largest overseas market, receiving 371,543 metric tons of the shipped volume, which accounted for 89% of total exports and 97% of exports to Asia.

Chile’s cherry exports have sustained strong momentum in recent years, led mainly by increasing demand from Asian markets, which consumed 382,441 metric tons of Chilean cherries in the 2022/23 season. In addition to consolidating its presence in China, the Chilean cherry sector has expanded and diversified its exports to other Asian countries, with exports to emerging markets such as Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam doubling this season.

In the lecture, Carvajal gave an overview of the promotional activities conducted this season. ASOEX is no longer content with fresh cherries just being a popular snack on various festivals — the association has also been striving to develop a habit of daily cherry consumption among Chinese consumers by linking the fruit to good luck, cooperating with leading food brands and creating more scenarios for cherry consumption.

Key e-commerce platforms have been long-term partners of the Chilean cherry industry, and this season was no exception. Chilean cherries were still one of the hottest fruit items on online platforms such as JD, Tmall, Douyin, Pinduoduo and Meituan. These channels conducted 23 live streams this season, greatly boosting sales and enhancing market awareness of the product.

Social media channels catering to the personalized interests of users have become popular sales platforms in China. This season, ASOEX increased its investments in social media channels related to beauty, sports, entertainment and baby care to further market Chilean cherries. The association also worked with 155 internet celebrities from major social media apps including WeChat, Weibo, Douyin and Xiaohongshu to make the high quality of Chilean cherries known to more consumers. As one of the most eye-catching activities of the promotional campaign, the “Million Super Lucky Draw” has now been held for three consecutive years in China. This year’s draw attracted tens of thousands of consumers to purchase cherries and participate.

Carvajal also mentioned in the lecture that the immense popularity of Chilean cherries is inseparable from their robust offline sales. By joining hands with 17 key supermarkets, ASOEX launched 12,282 promotions in 67 cities within 49 days, covering holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival and the Lantern Festival. In the two months where Chilean cherry arrivals hit their peak, 2,500 fruit specialty chain stores belonging to Pagoda, Xianfeng Fruit, GuoShu, Wellfruit and Greenery Fruit promoted Chilean cherries as a key item in their shops. To support Chilean cherry wholesalers and retailers with concrete efforts, representatives from ASOEX visited seven wholesale markets in seven different cities and held 16 on-site promotions.

At the end of the lecture, Carvajal once again expressed his optimism about Chilean cherry exports to China experiencing further growth in the years to come and said that he hoped next season would be even more successful.

Images: ASOEX

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