Packing its cherries like boxes of chocolates is paying off for Central Otago-based New Zealand Cherry Corp, which sees demand for its cherries rise each year.
Exporting to 12 markets across Asia, the US, Europe and Russia, international sales manager Sharon Kirk said its biggest market is China.
“Demand from China for cherries is increasing each year. We have a wide range of buyers in China from wholesale to retail and online. This year, we will be launching our own online stores for direct sales. We also have a growing distribution in the second and third tier cities around China,” Kirk told Fruitnet.
“Our volume is up on the 2016 season and we expect to harvest about 700 tonnes, with our first varieties Stella in late December/ early January followed by Lapins.”
New Zealand Cherry Corp’s premium brands include Cherry Delight and Red Envy and Kiwifruit Delight, and this season the company's also launched new-look packaging, and promoting its chocolate box style of packaging each cherry individually into a pocket, which Kirk said has proven popular in its export markets.
“We have just released our latest New Zealand Cherry Corp video – a Chinese version – which our customers are able to use to promote our product within market. We have also provided clients with our New Zealand Cherry Corp banners, which they can hang in the markets or in-store.”
Due to the earlier Chinese New Year, falling on 28 January in 2017, New Zealand Cherry Corp will airfreight all of it cherries ahead of the festivities.
“We anticipate airfreight space will be very tight from New Zealand this year with Chinese New Year being earlier, however, we are well organised in our planning with clients and our forwarders to ensure we can offer the best service to our clients,” Kirks explained. “We have also added a new coolstore to our packhouse to increase our capacity to handle the volume of fruit in and out of the facility.”