For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Liam O’Callaghan

BY LIAM O’CALLAGHAN

Bostock dazzles Chinese consumers

Chinese consumers have rushed to buy the first commercial volumes of organic Dazzle apples exported by Bostock New Zealand

Bostock dazzles Chinese consumers

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Bostock New Zealand has said the first commercial volumes of its organic Dazzle apples have proved popular with Chinese consumers.

The organic apple grower sent successful shipments to China in 2019 and has made more Dazzle apples available for Chinese retailers this year.

John Bostock, owner of Bostock New Zealand, said he was excited about the response Dazzle has received, praising the qualities of the variety.

“We have been thrilled and delighted with the demand and reception in Asia despite these tough unprecedented times with Covid-19 We think in normal times Dazzle is going to be even better.”

Bostock New Zealand has invested heavily in Dazzle apple plantings and will have 600,000 cartons in the next five years,” Bostock said.

“Without any doubt I believe this is the best apple since the worldwide domination of New Zealand Royal Gala. It looks and tastes amazing, its bright red and sweet and it also yields and packs well. It has got a strong future and Bostock New Zealand is excited to have exclusive rights to grow and sell OrganicDazzle.”

Jane MacLean, international market manager of Bostock New Zealand, says the demand this season has also been driven by the continued growing awareness of organic produce in China.

“Organics has been big this year in China in the wake of Covid-19. It has pushed more consumers to search for safer food options with personal health becoming even more of a focus,” MacLean said.

“Our organic apples guarantee a natural eating experience, free of chemicals and artificial fertiliser and we have seen the demand for our organic Dazzle increase significantly as a result.” 

The Dazzle apple is a large, red, sweet apple which was developed by Plant and Food Research in New Zealand and is targeted at the Asia market.

“It’s sweet, it’s red and it’s crunchy. It is everything that the Chinese market wants and is providing the perfect eating experience for Chinese consumers,” said Maclean.

“It also has a long supply window.  We can sell Dazzle in the markets from April through to September with very little quality issues.  It’s not like some of the other apple varieties which need to be sold quickly as they don’t store well. Dazzle also ensures less wastage for the retailers, so it’s an attractive option for them.”

Bostock New Zealand has been selling organic apples direct to Chinese retailers for five years and MacLean said this model is working well for Dazzle, which has a strong brand behind it and offers retailers plenty of marketing and promotional investment.

“We have six major Chinese retailers who are buying our apples directly and work with service providers to supply into other supermarket chains. These are a mix of online and offline customers. We have some exciting new packaging and have recently launched in-store marketing programmes across China.  This gives retailers confidence that we have made a significant investment and are backing Dazzle,” explained Maclean.

“There are multiple new varieties being released to the markets all the time, so we need to stand out from the rest.  Our retailers agree Dazzle has the wow factor but to get more consumers trying and buying it, we have invested heavily in Dazzle and the brand to further position it in the premium category.”

Costco China is selling Bostock’s Organic Dazzle this year and has been very happy with the customer feedback so far according to McLean.

“Costco is a big organic customer for Bostock in several different countries.  In China, Costco has partnered with Bostock to really push and promote the organic apple category to mainstream consumers.  This is very positive for Bostock New Zealand,” said McLean.

Bostock said the organic market in China has been slower to develop than other markets, but with Costco and other major retailers on board, it is seeing some significant growth in the organic fresh produce category.

The variety was showcased in recent promotions of New Zealand fruit in Chian a Vera Chen, business development manager of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, said it was exciting to showcase New Zealand’s newest apple.

“We can see the growing trend that more and more local consumers' are demanding organic fresh produce. This has been growing because there is increasing awareness of organic produce and consumers are pursuing healthier products in the local market,” said Chen.

Bostock New Zealand is also exporting Dazzle to other South-East Asian countries, North America and Russia.

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