Promotions will run for several weeks in Joy Wing Mau and Yonghui Superstores

SATI China promotions

South Africa has launched its table grape promotional campaign for the current season as the first volumes hit supermarket shelves in China this week. SATI confirmed that the first arrivals of varieties including Sweet Globe, Autumn Crisp and Crimson Seedless in specially branded packs are now available to Chinese consumers.

The campaign, which will run for several weeks, is once again being executed under South Africa’s popular brand positioning, ‘Beautiful country, beautiful fruit’ and all displays feature the South African Table Grapes logo.

Mecia Petersen, SATI’s market development and communications manager, said the South African industry and its trade partners, Joy Wing Mau (JWM) and Yonghui Superstores, will execute a wide range of activities during the next few weeks.

“Yonghui plans to have our grapes available at 14 Stores in Fujian, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Anhui Provinces during weekends during March and April,” Petersen said.

Currently there are promotions running in eight JWM stores across four provinces, mainly featuring Sweet Globe grapes. A product launch event is also planned for next week at the Pujiang Wanda branch of Yonghui Superstores.

For the first time, promotions will also be carried out in Vietnam, although activities there will be more limited. According to SATI, early reports indicate keen interest from Chinese and Vietnamese consumers.

Sales of South African grapes are growing in several Asian countries, but for now China remains the key focus for a market development campaign now in its third year.

“Our campaign is unique because it is jointly funded by our regional government, the Western Cape Government’s Department of Agriculture and the grape industry body, SATI,” Petersen said.

She acknowledged that ensuring that quality levels are maintained for specific promotional campaigns over such extended logistical chains is often challenging. SATI said regular shipping routes to the East are available, and many exporters are using these successfully.

“We have seen significant expansion in routes to the East. As with any export opportunity, planning is required and shipping fruit as part of a programme is often a successful strategy,” said SATI’s CEO, AJ Griesel.