The team behind the Sweeki kiwifruit brand is confident of positioning its offering alongside Italy’s most recognisable export lines in China.
“Italy is known not only for Ferrari cars, fashion lines —Gucci, Bulgari, Tod’s — or football teams, but also for foods,” said Alessio Orlandi, general manger of Origine Group, the developers of Sweeki. “In the same land where we produce many of the best wines and olive oils in the world, we also produce kiwifruit.”
The first Chinese-bound container of Sweeki arrived at Guangzhou’s Jiangnan Wholesale Market last week. To mark the event, Origine Group ¬– a marketing consortium made up of nine major Italian fresh producers – held an officially brand launch.
Speaking at the launch, trade commissioner of the Italian Trade Agency in Guangzhou, Paolo Quattrocchi Quattrocchi noted Italian kiwifruit exports are currently valued at around US$470m, with China the industry’s third largest market after Europe and the US.
That position looks set to grow, with more containers of Sweeki fruit already on their way to Guangzhou and Shanghai. To help grow the brand, Origine Group is planning a retail promotional campaign in partnership with Chinese mainland supermarkets.
“I know that everyone here is an expert and key player in the Chinese fruit industry,” Orlandi told the assembled audience at the launch event. “I wish that Sweeki, through kiwi promotional activities like this one, and through your activities, will become in a short time a very familiar brand among Chinese consumers.”
Origine Group created the Sweeki Brand in 2015 with its eye on export markets, especially in the Middle East and Asia. To match consumer preferences in these areas, sweeter flavoured varietals are being used, with the brand name derived from a combination of “sweet” and “kiwi”.
Jiangnan Wholesale Market’s general manger, Ye Canjiang, said the market looked forward to handling more of the fruit, as it continues its work with high-end European producers to introduce their products to the Chinese market.