AU Apricots by Italo Vardaro

Image by Italo Verdaro

Hort Innovation’s ‘Taste Australia’ campaign has proven popular with consumers in China, Malaysia and Thailand as we approach Chinese New Year, with Australian grown stonefruit the most popular produce.

The campaign has been centred on in-store activations in each of the countries.

In Thailand, a Bangkok Tesco store showcased the produce with a wall of stonefruit and red lanterns to mark the lead up to Chinese New Year.

Tesco produce category manager Lapa Leelarpeerapan said many customers were seeking premium Australian stonefruit.

“Australian produce is good quality with a good taste,” she said. “We do sampling to let our customers try it, and they love it. These promotions have proven really successful.”

In China, the campaign recently launched at leading retail chain City Super, where high-end Chinese New Year stonefruit gift hampers and cooked samples created by local celebrity chef, Brian Tan, drew a crowd.

City Super manager Eugene Gong said Australian stonefruit is considered a delicacy.

“The Chinese New Year event we held for Australian stonefruit has received a massive welcome from our elite shoppers and members,” said Gong.

“Premium Australian fruits are very popular in China, so we are thrilled to be a long-term retail partner with Taste Australia.”

The Aussie stonefruit campaign will continue in Chinese retail outlets until March with regular sampling in supermarkets across Beijing and Shanghai, livestreaming, promotions and We-Chat.

At the same time, Australian growers and exporters – Montague, T&G Global, LPG Cutri Fruit Global and Nutrafruit for the Queen Garnet plum variety – will participate in industry co-promotions in various areas of China including tailored events at wholesale markets and more.

In Malaysia, staff at leading supermarket chain AEON had similar positive feedback. Senior manager perishable and dairy division, Irene Khor Kim Ean, said their campaign, which runs until March, is all about a celebration of flavours ushering in a prosperous Chinese New Year.

“Australia has a good reputation for supplying quality premium products and our customers love them,” said Khor Kim Ean.

“A large portion of our produce originates from Australia and we are committed to selling more Australian produce in future.”

According to Summerfruit Australia, exports grew from A$27.7M in 2015 to more than A$76M in 2019, with a 52 per cent hike between 2018 and 2019 alone.

Hort Innovation marketing and international trade general manager Justine Coates said Australia’s reputation for providing great produce to South East Asia is set to grow and the export figures are already encouraging.

“The growth of stone fruit exports to South East Asia has been phenomenal,” said Coates.

“The success of the Taste Australia initiative can be attributed to the dedication and support from Australian growers, and exporters, retailers and delivery partners in each key market, and Austrade who act as official representatives in-country, providing valuable support.

“Hort Innovation looks forward to continuing to work with our stakeholders to strengthen our relationships and reputation across our key trading markets and build new links for the benefit of growers,” she added.