Promotion campaigns will intensify in China and there will be greater investment

With the presence of the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Chile, Niu Qingbao and the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, the ASOEX Cherry Committee officially launched the 2023-2024 cherry season, in its traditional “Cherry Blossom” ceremony.

The opening ceremony was held at Agrícola Ponderosa in Requínoa, with the presence of the national director of SAG, José Guajardo; Antonio Walker, president of the SNA; Jorge Valenzuela, president of Fedefruta, as well as the parliamentarians of the area, Marcela Riquelme and Natalia Romero. In addition to the mayor of Romeral, Carlos Vergara, as well as union and union representatives, national and regional authorities from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), ProChile, and producers and exporters of cherries; among others.

“Chilean cherries are the perfect product and also a perfect example of the friendship between China and Chile. The export of Chilean cherries has been possible – in large part – thanks to our free trade agreement, since Chilean exporters send close to 90% of the cherries go to China, which has brought great benefits for producers and exporters, and on the other hand, it also enriches the perspective of people, consumers, especially at the time of the Chinese New Year. It is the perfect gift for the family and friends, especially, because of its dark red color, as well as its sweet flavor, it means good luck in our culture and symbolizes a good life for the new year. This is why Chinese consumers love the Chilean cherry,” highlighted the Chinese ambassador.

He added: “This is my third year attending the cherry blossom event and I am deeply impressed by the hospitality of the cherry industry in Chile and I believe that the future of export between both countries will be even better, because we have seen a recovery robust in the country (China) and in its economy, so we will have more consumers and we hope to double the size of consumers by 2035.”

“I am very impressed by the efforts that Chilean producers have made to understand the culture and habits of China, which is reflected in the packages and their aesthetics, which makes consumers very happy. This reinforces our friendship” Ambassador Niu Qingbao added.

For his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela, highlighted: “This event is very significant since our cherry industry is a leader in the world. We are capable of providing a high-quality product in terms of sweetness and flavor to the country. that buys the most from us, which is China and all of Asia. Markets that, happily, with the work of the national industry and also ProChile have been diversifying. It is a quality product, well delivered, which makes Chilean cherries extraordinary. You can come frost, pests but the industry is strong, modern and also generates a value chain and permanent jobs in regions like O’Higgins and Maule. Therefore, it is a day of great celebration. We are the main exporters in the world in cherries and among O’Higgins and Maule are the territories that lead in this fruit.”

Meanwhile, Iván Marambio, president of ASOEX commented: “This year we will have the challenge of a later Chinese New Year, as it will be on February 10 – last year it was on January 22, which requires greater preparation in logistics and production management. But we are very optimistic about this new season. In fact, the last two weeks ago we were in China, visiting cities where we will have a greater focus on promotion, and where we could feel the Chinese consumer’s expectation for our cherries, which is very big, since there is a very strong relationship between the Chinese New Year, the Chinese consumer and the consumption of our cherries.

Regarding export volumes for this new season, the ASOEX leader pointed out: “The estimate of cherry exports for this new season is 90 to 100 million boxes, last year we shipped around 83 million boxes, for Therefore, it would be a record year. Although we are still evaluating to provide a more complete estimate, especially after the rains. Despite this, we are going to have a significant volume. We are going to improve quality, and ultimately the Chinese consumer, our main market, is going to have an even better product than the one it has already had,” observed Iván Marambio.

Study and growth

For her part, Claudia Soler, executive director of the Cherry Committee, observed: “Cherries have grown an annual average of 29% in the last 7 years. The cherry is the queen of fruits, currently, because it has done very well in terms of growth in the different markets. We will continue to grow based on the area that is already planted and that has not yet entered into production.”

The professional highlighted that as the Cherry Committee they carried out a study of growth expectations in volume and export in the future, “and if the conditions are adequate, during the production process we should have significant growth, during the next four years due to the plantations that They are already there and are in formation. For this season our initial projection was 100 million boxes, we are waiting to see what happens in this flowering period and depending on whether the weather is with us, there may be fluctuations in these projections. A “end of September, beginning of October we should have a more accurate estimate of how the season is going, but, currently, we expect growth from what is already planted.”

Cherries Promotion

Regarding the actions to promote cherries for this 2023-2024 season, Iván Marambio indicated: “We have three new challenges for this campaign. First we are creating a medium-term campaign, we are thinking about the next three years. Secondly We want demand to go ahead of supply, that is, promotion has to ensure that there is more and more demand, and thirdly, to achieve all this what we are doing is regionalization. We are going to 24 cities in China, “with a focus on four new central cities that have ample growth potential. In short, what we are doing is incorporating new cities to expand the market and increase consumption.”

Complementing the above, Claudia Soler pointed out: “Another relevant aspect to accompany the growth of our exports is that we are growing in the resources that we are investing in promotion. The main focus of the Cherry Committee is promotion in international markets. We need to go deeper in the markets that already know us such as China and the US and diversify markets to accompany this growth. This season we hope to increase promotional resources by 13% and we are convinced that it is the way for new consumers to join the category and that consumers who already know us increase their frequency and the size of their basket.

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