NZ: Leading avo export group confident about Chinese market prospects

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NZ: Leading avo export group confident about Chinese market prospects

A leading New Zealand avocado export supply group AVOCO has high hopes for the newly opened Chinese market, confident that it will have advantages over the South American competition. 

Chinese authorities recently announced they had given the green light to New Zealand avocado exporters for the 2018-19 season, and the country now joins the likes of Chile, Peru, and Mexico in the fast-moving market.

AVOCO exports New Zealand avocados to various Asian markets under its AVANZA brand and the company said it had been preparing for access to China for some time. Preliminary planning has included the development of a market-specific brand name for the country.

Anticipating access would be granted for 2018-19, last month the AVANZA market management team drafted an initial market plan for China involving target volumes, size profile and supply phasing, the company said.

Like India and South Korea, China will be developed with the view to it becoming a market for premium quality, larger-size fruit.

A pre-season market visit is scheduled for April to finalize importer-distributor arrangements and identify optimum sales channels to be pursued, looking at a mix of both “off-line” retail store format sales and online opportunities.

New Zealand’s "scale and seasonality relative to the South American supply nations" will be a key consideration in customer selection, AVOCO said.

AVOCO’s marketing and communications manager, Steve Trickett, says the unique climate and extending growing season New Zealand avocados are produced in will help to differentiate AVANZA fruit in the produce aisle.

This will be supported by point-of-sale consumer education material covering nutritional attributes, handling and recipe ideas.

“Being the closest and therefore freshest Southern Hemisphere source of avocados to China, the subtle differences in the taste and texture profile of our fruit, as well as presenting consumers with a larger piece of fruit backed by promotional investment, will help underpin our brand story, all aimed to secure a premium place in the market,” Trickett said.

Market access to China follows a successful technical audit of the regulatory system for exporting this week. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) signed the protocol to agree export requirements in November 2017.

As Asian economies continue to develop and an increasing number of wealthier consumers emerge, diets become more varied and demand for high quality nutritious international food grows, the company said.

“In operating AVANZA, AVOCO has built relationships in many exciting Asian markets and it’s fantastic that we can now add China to that list," he said.

“AVANZA is trusted by buyers in Asia to supply great-tasting avocados and our long-term commitment to Asia and our regular presence there has built up market loyalty.

“The combined efforts of many to win access to China is great news for AVOCO growers and the export industry as a whole.”

AVOCO is a partnership between New Zealand’s two biggest avocado exporters, Southern Produce Ltd and Primor Produce Ltd. In 2013, the two companies set aside their rivalries and joined forces. It currently manages and exports on behalf of about 800 growers across Bay of Plenty and Northland. 



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