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Sekoya Confident About Its Premium Blueberries in Asian and Chinese Markets

October 25, 2023

Global blueberry exports have been steadily increasing year by year, and the Chinese market has emerged as the leader in terms of growth in blueberry consumption throughout Asia. Asian consumers, particularly those in China, tend to prefer large, crisp and flavorful fresh blueberries, which consistently fetch higher prices on the market. At the 2023 edition of Asia Fruit Logistica, which was held in Hong Kong in September, Sekoya blueberries, star products from the blueberry cultivation company Fall Creek, garnered praise and acclaim from retailers spanning various countries and regions across Asia.

In an interview with Produce Report, Hans Liekens, value chain and retail manager at Sekoya, provided a firsthand account of these premium blueberries. Liekens explained, “Sekoya is a B2B brand platform dedicated to the promotion of Sekoya blueberry varieties, with sales handled by our members, who possess the capability to provide year-round market supply. Our blueberries are known for their crispy texture, delicious flavor and long shelf life.”

Sekoya is not only the name of the platform but also part of the variety names. Currently, there are five blueberry varieties available on the platform, including Sekoya Pop (FCM14-052), Sekoya Beauty (FCM12-097), Sekoya Crunch (FC13-083), Sekoya Grande (FC13-122) and the latest addition — Sekoya Fiesta (FC13-113).

Liekens pointed out, “Since not all Sekoya blueberries can consistently meet the same high-quality standards, Sekoya has introduced a new consumer label known as LIVIE. This label serves as a symbol of quality, and it will be featured on retail brands or member labels, signifying unwavering quality standards throughout the year.” To qualify for the LIVIE label, blueberries must meet specific criteria, including those pertaining to size, flavor and crunchiness, resulting in a long shelf life. For consumers, the LIVIE logo represents blueberries of consistent quality with a crisp texture and exceptional sweetness.

According to Liekens, Sekoya blueberries are currently cultivated in 18 countries, and this figure is expected to increase to 30 next year. One-third of these blueberries are destined for the United States and Canada, with another one-third going to Europe and the United Kingdom and the remainder shipped to Asian markets. Among these regions, Asia is experiencing the most rapid growth. Of the 15 members on the Sekoya platform, nine have introduced Sekoya blueberries to the Chinese market, including Agrovision, Agroberries, Alpine Fresh, Joy Wing Mau and Prize. Liekens also disclosed that in 2024, an additional one to two members will enter the Chinese market owing to Sekoya’s impressive consumer acceptance and sales performance in Asia.

The estimated global production of Sekoya blueberries in 2023 is approximately 45,000 metric tons, and this figure is anticipated to hit 87,000 metric tons in 2024. Peru stands out as the fastest-growing production region, followed by Mexico and Morocco. In his interview with Produce Report, Liekens also revealed the company’s plans for China-based production: “This year, Sekoya members have commenced blueberry cultivation in China, and we are actively expanding our nurseries in the country. Over the upcoming years, our strategy includes cultivating the Sekoya Pop and Sekoya Beauty brands (low-zero chill) in southern China, while the northern regions will focus on the mid-high chill brands, Sekoya Crunch, Sekoya Grande and Sekoya Fiesta. These five varieties will grow under nearly all specific conditions of each growing area. This strategy will result in growing Chinese blueberries 52 weeks of the year for Chinese consumption and contributions to the flourishing blueberry industry in China.”

Images: Sekoya

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

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