Australasian exporter BerryCo is building a foothold for its blueberry offer in the Thai market.
The trade has been based on shipments of Mountain Blue (MB) Eureka blueberries, with BerryCo sending Australian-grown fruit for the second straight season in 2017.
The programme is set to grow in the coming years, with the first commercial crop of New Zealand-grown Eureka to be sent in 2018/2019.
BerryCo’s Vaughan Judkins said the category has the potential to grow immensely, but only if the right varieties are supplied.
“Most importantly for the Thailand market, blueberries need to be sweet, have crunch and shelf life. Added size is also a bonus,” Judkins explained.
“The Eureka blueberries and the MB varieties from the same breeding programme fit into this category and have a very unique taste with a great crunch (like a cherry). After taste and crunch all other properties are secondary.”
To help build awareness for Eureka, BerryCo is assisting its wholesale, retail and food service customers in Thailand to develop promotional activities such as in-store demonstrations, point of sale materials and competitions.
The activity has clearly been worthwhile, with Judkins telling Asiafruit that BerryCo already has customers asking for exclusive distribution and marketing rights once the New Zealand Eureka programme starts.
“Currently, the MB Eureka programme is in its infancy in Thailand and with New Zealand to start next year our business has been conducted around establishing the right channels into market,” Judkins said.
“Going forward, our strategy is around building Eureka as the premium brand and working with dedicated partners to ensure we are best positioned for this.”