As the country’s grape sector goes into winter recess, growers can look back on further progress following the conclusion of campaigns in China and Vietnam

South Africa’s table grape industry organisation Sati has said it was pleased with the initial results of this year’s promotional campaign in Vietnam and China.

Sati South Africa grape promotion  China Vietnam 2024

The campaign has been conducted over the past four years with significant support from the Western Cape Ministry of Agriculture.

As the significance of Asian markets continues to rise, Sati has been intensifying its efforts to further penetrate these markets.

As part of those efforts, Sati for the first time this year initiated promotional activities in an Asian country other than China. Early reports from Vietnam and China have indicated another very successful year.

Sati said that from late March to mid-April it collaborated with Joy Wing Mau Asia and Fresh Fruit-X to introduce South African table grapes to Vietnamese consumers through various promotional events.

This included free tasting sessions at multiple supermarket chains across the country.

“The aim of these endeavours was to enhance the visibility and popularity of South African table grapes on the Vietnamese market,” noted Sati.

In partnership with Joy Wing Mau Asia and WinMart, a promotional week for South African table grapes took place at 15 WinMart outlets across Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The promotion focused on seedless black and seedless green table grapes.

“By inviting consumers to sample varieties such as Sable, Sweet Joy, Sweet Globe and Autumn Crisp and educating them about the characteristics of South African grapes, more consumers were able to gain a clear understanding of the crispness, sweetness, freshness and affordability of South African table grapes,” said a spokesperson.

Sales of South African table grapes at the event stores reportedly increased by between 18 and 22 per cent.

The marketing campaign, initiated by Sati and Fresh Fruit-X, ran from 1-14 April and included 25 stores of supermarket chain Bach Hoa Xanh, reaching an average of 10,000 consumers per day.

The varieties offered during the campaign were new generation white seedless varieties Sweet Globe and Autumn Crisp.

Sati said that through promotional events including product displays and free tasting sessions, the engagement between South African table grapes and consumers was reinforced, leading to an increase in consumer demand.

Overall, the data from this campaign indicated a ”significant increase in daily sales” of South African table grapes in all stores.

This amounted to a rise of 150 per cent compared with the same period of last year. The overall total retail revenue of all participating stores witnessed a year-on-year increase of 25 per cent.

According to store surveys, when considering purchasing imported table grapes, over half of Vietnamese consumers preferred South African grapes on account of their affordable price, excellent quality, and good availability during the New Year holiday.

Reports indicated that the Asian markets have emerged as among the most dynamic in recent years and their attractiveness to exporters around the world has been steadily growing.

South Africa’s grape season runs counter to that of Asian countries, and with an increasing number of transportation routes connecting Africa and Asia, capturing a larger market share in Asia has become a strategic focus for Sati.

The marketing activities conducted in China over the years have yielded positive results, and the promotional activities in Vietnam, albeit on a smaller scale, have also garnered favourable market feedback.

Observers said the South African table grape sector had now laid the groundwork for future expansion in the east, with the region’s consumers clearly taking to the products that South Africa has to offer.