South Africa hails Japanese grapefruit campaign -

South Africa hails Japanese grapefruit campaign

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South Africa hails Japanese grapefruit campaign

A South African grapefruit promotion campaign in Japan has showed improved results over the season, despite lower than average sales.

Citrus Growers' Association of Southern Africa CEO Justin Chadwick, said the Grapefruit Focus Group's campaign with marketers and stakeholders had yieled positive results since a launch event in Tokyo.

"This event marked the arrival of South African grapefruit, and created a buzz of expectancy around the availability of fresh grapefruit about to hit the supermarket shelves," he said.

"In week 25 in-store tastings began. In support of the campaign are point of sale material, a website with links to the South African grapefruit spokeswoman’s blog, consumer magazine exposure and TV exposure.

"Although sales have not been at the level of the three year average, they have improved as a percentage of the average as the year has progressed. Whereas sales in the early part of the year were 70% to 80% of the three year average, they are now at the 90% to 95% level."

Chadwick said the improvement was a good sign given the events that occured in Japan this year, with import statistics showing the price increased 9% in June in CIF (cost, insurance and freight) terms.

"Grapefruit growers will need to start thinking about the merits of continuing with this campaign in the future. Growers are urged to discuss this in the regions, and to let their Grapefruit Focus Group representative know how they would like to proceed."

South Africa has so far shipped 15 million 15kg (33lbs) cartons of grapefruit to international markets this season, with around 300,000 more cartons expected for export.

The country also aims to expand its grapefruit market scope in Asia, with South Korean negotiations underway.

Photo: Zorica of Malibu

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