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Domex Tests the Waters in China for Autumn Glory Apples

March 02, 2017

Domex Superfresh Growers of Washington State sent a limited supply of its Autumn Glory club apple variety to China for the first time at the beginning of this year, launching the product through select channels during the lead-up to the Chinese New Year holiday.

“Autumn Glory is making a good run right now in Vietnam,” says Jeff Webb, Director of International Business Development for Domex Superfresh Growers. “We have sent some smaller shipments to Thailand, Indonesia and India.” If this season’s run for Autumn Glory is successful, Domex hopes to send larger quantities to China from the 2017 harvest.

If Autumn Glory does gain a sustainable following among Chinese consumers, it could be a promising sign for high end specialty apples like Autumn Glory. Autumn Glory is a red and gold bicolor, which Domex describes as having “very sweet, firm flesh with hints of cinnamon and subtle notes of caramel.”

Historically, such an appeal to flavor might not have automatically resonated with Chinese consumers. Red Delicious apples have been very popular among apples imported from the US. This popularity was based mostly on the variety’s striking shape and color, not necessarily texture of flavor.

But with rising disposable income and increased willingness to try new flavors, and better channels for marketing specialty fruit, market conditions in China appear to be more and more receptive for a product like Autumn Glory.

One of the initial channels for this season’s limited run of Autumn Glory was the fresh produce section of Alibaba ecommerce platform TMall. The apples are currently being sold for a price of RMB 189 ($27.50) for a 5kg box.

So far feedback from customers looks good, with an average customer rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. “These apples are quite good. A good balance of sweet and tart, a nice crisp texture,” reads one comment.

Images: Domex Superfresh Growers

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