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Purple Honey Plums Make Global Debut in China

April 12, 2021

On April 9, a cargo ship from Chile pulled into the Port of Hong Kong, signifying not only the first arrival of Purple Honey plums on the Chinese market but also the global debut of this new plum variety. The three containers of Purple Honey plums onboard were exported by the Chilean company Exportadora Neofresh and imported by the Chinese company Yidu Group. After completion of the requisite inspection and quarantine measures, the plums were scheduled to reach Shanghai’s Huizhan Fruit and Vegetable Market on April 12 and soon thereafter become available on various online and offline retail channels throughout China.

Purple Honey is a type of Asian plum developed by the University of Chile through a decade-long breeding program. Neofresh has gained exclusive rights to grow and export the fruit.

This new variety features a series of unique attributes, such as a distinctive purple and green skin coloration, crisp texture and large diameter, with an average weight of 140 grams per fruit, which is significantly greater than other plum varieties commonly seen on the market. Additional selling points of the fruit include high sweetness, low acidity and less bitter flavor in the skin. Typical Brix values for this variety are as high as 20 °Bx, which is greater than those for the Angeleno (15 °Bx) and Black Kat (14 °Bx) varieties whose supply seasons overlap with Purple Honey. In addition to the excellent taste, Purple Honey is extremely late in blooming and ripening, which means reduced overlap with other plum varieties on the market. The high storability of this variety, with strong quality preservation even after 60 days or more in cold storage, also helps to prolong the shelf life.

Yidu Group and Neofresh have entered into an exclusive cooperation to market Purple Honey plums in China this year. Neofresh is a globally oriented family business with over 30 years of experience in agriculture, predominantly in the production and marketing of kiwis, cherries and plums. The company also makes itself deeply and directly involved in the entire supply chain, including the breeding, nursery, commercial production, packaging and export stages. In recent years, Neofresh has been involved in a research program with the University of Chile to develop new plum varieties that cater to the latest market trends. As a consequence of this cooperation between industry and academia, the new Purple Honey variety is to be presented by Neofresh to consumers in both China and Brazil in April this year.

Founded in 1988, Yidu Group is China’s leading fresh food supply chain manager and service provider. The company has an experienced and dedicated sourcing team that visits the production regions of premium fresh products and finds the most suitable partners to work with, both in China and around the world. Going to the places of origin for direct procurement also enables Yidu Group to implement strict quality control at the source. Moreover, Yidu Group is gradually creating a nationwide cold chain logistics network by using major ports around the country, including Dalian and Shenyang ports (covering Northeast China), Zhengzhou Airport Distribution Center (covering Central China) and Guangzhou Distribution Center (covering South China).

The global trading volume for fresh plums has displayed an upward trend in recent years, with an average annual growth rate of 11.2%. To take advantage of this increased market demand, Yidu Group has been searching globally for new plum varieties that are more appealing to Chinese consumers.

Images: Yidu Group

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