Vanguard partners with SNFL and Riverking to launch tasting events in Guangzhou and Shanghai for early season green seedless grape

Vanguard International has joined forces with SNFL Group and Riverking International to host a series of in-person grape tasting events in China from 11-17 January.

Ivory grapes are presented at Guangzhou Jiangnan Market

Ivory grapes are presented at Guangzhou Jiangnan Market

The first tasting event took place at Guangzhou Jiangnan Market on 11 January at 8:30am.

Chinese retailers, importers and wholesalers were given their first opportunity to discover the Ivory grape variety that had just arrived from Peru, according to a media release from Vanguard International.

The event featured local dragon dancers, an opening performance, a presentation of the Ivory grape variety, a container opening, tastings and interviews, as well as a limited number of gifts for attendees. 

The event now travels to Shanghai, where daily tastings will take place at a CitySuper store on 15-17 January at 2pm each day.

Vanguard said the tasting events would enable customers to get their first taste of the SNFL-bred Ivory grapes marketed under Vanguard’s Majestic Jaguar brand. The green grape reportedly has “a uniform berry with a sweet, clean finish”, and its “taste and crunch make it a customer favourite”.

“These events are a great way to educate our global customers and consumers around the wonderful taste profile these grapes offer and to celebrate the limited supply of this season’s Ivory crop as the region gets ready to celebrate Chinese New Year,” said Dirk Winkelmann, chief business development officer of The Vanguard International Group.

Josep Estiarte, CEO of SNFL, said that while China is the world’s largest table grape consumer, representing more than 46 per cent of global consumption, grapes are underrepresented in the fruit basket, with only 26 per cent of Chinese consumers purchasing them.

“These events are key to raise awareness about premium, seedless, sweet, and firm varieties such as Ivory, a very good choice for Chinese consumers,” said Estiarte.

Wang Yijian, vice-general manager of Riverking Southern China, said Ivory caters well to the growing demand for new seedless grape varieties in China.

“Every year, there are about 10,000 containers of imported grapes entering the Chinese market. The demand for traditional varieties such as Red Globe and Thompson Seedless has been decreasing, and the new varieties are in much more demand, especially during the past two years,” said Wang.

Ivory is an early season green seedless grape

Ivory is an early season green seedless grape

“There have been several new seedless varieties successfully launched in the Chinese market. Having advantages of stability, early-season timing, and great taste, Ivory has been well recognised by the market, and the last two seasons of trials also have proven that. I sincerely hope that this promotion will speed up the recognition of Ivory with our customers.”

Ou Hongqing, general manager of Riverking Southern China, added: “Ivory is a variety that is very crispy and has very good flavour. It has good storage quality, long shelf-life, good visual presentation on the shop floor, and eats exceptionally well. We are very confident about its market potential in China.”