Sun World International has attributed its table grape export growth to a strong global brand presence and strengthened receiver partnerships, with plans to hire new personnel in Asia to keep pace with development and export volumes.
The company highlights year-on-year export volume growth of 40% over the past few years, with receivers' support making the movement of record grape volumes "guaranteed" this season.
The group says these partnerships have helped strengthen brand execution in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Korea, leading to better consumer recognition through below-the-line marketing with store events, demos and sampling, as well as social media.
"Despite a difficult grape season, we continue to achieve our export goals," says Sun World vice president of international sales and marketing Julie Escobar.
"Our partnerships with receivers and new customers have helped us achieve record shipping numbers, and retail penetration continues to be strengthened."
Investments in new packing line infrastructure have allowed Sun World to explore new packaging models that drive sales in Asian markets while addressing the high labor costs associated with re-packing in-country.
"We expect to see a significant increase in our business, as well as improve our overall supply chain and quality control of our fruit to a much stronger level in 2019," says Escobar.
The company added that grapes branded as Midnight Beauty and Autumncrisp continued to be the most well-received offerings overseas, with Autumncrisp specifically achieving "phenomenal success" in the majority of Asian markets.
The group plans to continue its efforts to position the Adora Seedless-branded grapes as a late season variety in 2019.