JD.com, China’s largest online retailer, this week announced it became the first e-commerce platform in China to sell frozen whole Musang King durian from Malaysia.
The news came after China’s General Administration of Customs approved imports of Malaysian frozen whole durian fruit, which is then sold 'fresh' on retail shelves.
Pre-sale of the fruit kicked off on 10 June, and initial promotions will be available during JD.com’s 18 June “618” shopping festival.
JD has sold durian on its platform since 2012, but sales exploded in 2017 with year-on-year sales increasing 2603 per cent.
On 18 May last year, JD held a Super Durian Day, selling 428 tonnes of durian in a single day, over 24 times the amount sold on the same day in 2017.
According to JD’s data, the majority of durian consumers are aged 26-35. They largely come from Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, and Shanghai, and they are very receptive to special promotions.
Malaysia's Musang King variety is considered the world’s most sought-after and costly variety of durian due to its flavour and texture.
Malaysia is reportedly now focusing on gaining access to China for its fresh durian.
Known in China as “the king of fruits”, durian is understood to be rich in minerals and vitamins. Many believe the fruit also possesses traditional Chinese medicine benefits which enable the consumer to regulate body temperature.
Durian is increasingly being added to a wide variety of dishes, from yoghurt and cookies, to coffee and pizza, JD.com said.