There were two boxes First Fresh and Foodview wanted to tick when they handled the first shipment of New Zealand persimmons to China.
“We wanted test how consumers reacted to the crunch and flavour of the fruit,” said Foodview’s brand strategist John Miller.
The programme appears to have met the key criteria.
“The fruit arrived in excellent condition and consumers absolutely loved the taste,” Miller added.
The initial consignment entered China last month and was made up of the Fuyu variety, one not commonly consumed in China, hence the need to gauge consumer reception. Made at the tail end of the New Zealand season, the initial programme was never going to be large scale according to First Fresh’s managing director Ian Albers.
“There’s a few things we needed to test around the texture of the fruit and we’re pleased to see that there is a market there,” Albers said.
Gisborne-based exporter First Fresh is working with importer-marketer Foodview to develop a foothold for persimmons in the People’s Republic. Operating in China as a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE), Foodview specialises in marketing New Zealand horticultural products.
“The retailers that have supported this persimmon programme have really got behind it,” Miller told Asiafruit at last week’s Asia Fruit Logistica. “That’s the idea behind Foodview. We want to create a fellowship where we get buy-in from partners throughout the supply chain and we’ve been able to achieve this here.”