Promotional campaigns will intensify in China and elsewhere as a result of increased marketing spend

A traditional Cherry Blossom ceremony attended by Chinese ambassador to Chile, Niu Qingbao and Chilean agriculture minister, Esteban Valenzuela and other dignitaries was held at Agrícola Ponderosa in Requínoa recently to mark the launch of the 2023/24 Chilean cherry campaign.

Chilean cherries A

Asoex president Iván Marambio said the fact that the Chinese New Year festivities are later next year (10 February as opposed to 22 January this year) would require more planning in logistics and production management.

Early forecasts point to an export crop of 90-100m cartons compared with the 83m cartons shipped last season, making this a record year for the Chilean industry.

“Evaluations are ongoing to deliver a more accurate estimate, especially after the recent rains, but we are going to have a significant volume,” Marambio said.

“We are going to improve the quality, and ultimately the consumer in China, our main market, is going to have an even better product than the one they have already had.”

According to Claudia Soler, executive director of the Cherry Committee, cherry production has grown an annual average of 29 per cent in the last seven years and is set to keep on growing due to new planted area which has not yet entered into production.

“Our initial forecast for the new season was 100m cartons, but we are waiting to see what happens in this flowering period. Depending on whether the weather is with us, these projections may fluctuate. We should have a more accurate estimate at the end of September or beginning of October,” Soler said.

In terms of promotional activity, Marambio said: “We have three new challenges for this campaign. Firstly we are creating a medium-term campaign, we are thinking about the next three years. Secondly, we want demand to go ahead of supply, that is, promotion has to ensure that there is more and more demand, and thirdly, to achieve all this what we are doing is regionalisation.

“We are going to 24 cities in China, with a focus on four new central cities that have ample growth potential. In short, we are incorporating new cities to grow our te market and increase consumption.”

To achieve this, Asoex will increase marketing spending by 13 per cent. Soler said this would allow Chile to increase penetration in existing markets like China and the US and diversify into new markets.

“We are convinced that it is the way for new consumers to join the category and for consumers who already know us to increase their frequency and the size of their basket,” Soler said.