JD Fresh, the fresh produce business of JD.com, has announced a plan to double the imports of Sunkist’s citrus fruits in the next three years.
The increase was announced in mid-December 2021 as the American citrus grower cooperative’s first export shipment of newly harvested navel oranges arrived in Shanghai from Long Beach.
The decision was spurred by the rising demand for high-quality fresh produce in China. Since JD.com became an authorised e-commerce direct-sourcing partner for Sunkist’s citrus fruits in China in 2018, there has been a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60 per cent in Sunkist’s fresh citrus sales.
“Thanks to our close collaboration with Sunkist and JD’s cold-chain logistic strength, we have created a highly efficient way to supply the in-season citrus directly from farm trees around the world to the dining tables of Chinese customers throughout the year at a better price and faster speed,” said Wei Ye, general manager of JD Fresh.
“As people have a greater need for healthy fresh food and are becoming more and more customised to shop for them online after the pandemic, we are confident to support Sunkist to further grow in the China market.”
Senior director of global marketing Christina Ward said Sunkist was grateful for the opportunity to deliver fresh California-grown citrus to consumers in China.
“Through JD.com, we can educate millennial consumers on the in-season availability, flavor attributes, and nutritional benefits of our fruit,” said Ward.
When Sunkist citrus is shipped to China, it is sent directly to JD’s self-operated cold chain warehouses following the custom quality inspection on arrival. The fruit is then packed in JD customised packages and delivered straight to customers’ doorsteps through JD’s nationwide logistics network.
JD’s cold-chain logistics for fresh produce – which range from same-day delivery to two-hour flash– are the standard services available in more than 300 cities across China, allowing consumers in both coastal and inland regions to enjoy the freshest Sunkist products.
China is the largest importer of Sunkist citrus, accounting for about 30 per cent of its global exports. Despite the headwinds in the trade and supply chain in the past year, JD.com and Sunkist have continued to work together to ensure stable and smooth supplies to China.