Imported Fruits in China

The demand for fresh fruits in China is led by steady economic growth as there was a substantial increase in overall household income. Imported fruits in China are expected to be in variety, convenient, and of high quality. Chinese citizens now demand year-round availability of freshly produced fruits.

China’s middle class grew to 109 million adults in 2015, surpassing 92 million, American middle-class population. According to Euromonitor, by 2018 consumers in China will spend on average $4,251 every year, with $113 of that spend on fruit and fruit products, a 69% increase over 2014. This increase in fruit consumption among Chinese citizens indicates a heap of opportunities for fresh fruit exporters interested in exporting fresh fruits to China.

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Market overview of Imported fruits in China

Imported fruits in China
Among friends and family, fruits are given as good gestures and gifts.

In Chinese culture, there has been a lot of importance given to eating fruits. Among friends and family, fruits are given as good gestures and as gifts. Imported produce and fresh fruits, especially of western brands are considered as status symbols or wealth for many middle-and upper-income Chinese consumers. This perception is not only limited to Tier I cities but increasingly in Tier II and III cities as well. Increasingly consumers have now become more demanding for a large variety in fresh fruit imports, especially of the tropical category.

Foreign fresh fruit exporters have a clear opportunity to take advantage of China’s domestic growing seasons and counter-seasons demand.  During the winter, domestic fruit production is limited, and as a result, consumers who normally buy domestic turn to higher-priced fresh fruit imports. Although imported fresh fruit market quite prices sensitive. On the other hand, imported, branded fresh fruits are also considered to be meeting higher food safety standards and therefore earn a premium in the Chinese fruit market.

A growing segment of the population has become more concerned with food safety standards of domestically grown fruits as they are widely considered to be of lower quality and have fewer safety standards as compared with foreign imported fruit.

What is the likelihood of selling Imported fruits in China on Chinese E-commerce?

China is the world’s largest e-commerce market and growing every minute. Online sales surpassed $670 billion in 2015. Fresh fruits were one of the main drivers of this exponential growth.

Consumers, especially young professionals, prefer to buy Imported fruits in China online due to the convenience of ordering and delivered directly to their doorstep within 24 hours.

Imported Fruit in China
Young professional/millennials are the largest target groups in E-commerce China

Online purchase of fresh produce is quickly becoming a preferred purchase channel for Chinese consumers, especially among young professionals in Tier I cities. Sales of online fresh produce were nearly $4 billion in 2014, with industry forecasts predicting a market size of $16 billion and, total fresh produce market segment of 15% by 2018.

Alibaba Group and JD.com are the two largest e-commerce platforms for imported fruit (and all e-commerce as a whole) in China. Both Alibaba and JD.com have turned to invest in smaller, more specialized fresh produce e-commerce companies to expand their own presence in online fresh produce e-commerce.

How to enter the E-commerce market of China?

There numerous opportunities in the E-commerce market for fresh fruit exporters but getting in the E-commerce market is rather cumbersome due to cultural barriers, language differences, and strict e-commerce platform policies.

However, there are solutions among which two are vital. Firstly, International fresh fruit exporters need to have strong Branding of their products and secondly, they need to be present on well-known E-commerce platforms.

 Branding Imported Fruits in China on Chinese E-commerce platforms

Chinese consumers prefer fresh fruit due to its availability, safety, and quality. These features need to be communicated to the consumers extensively. The company needs to build e-reputation in order to gain popularity among customers. The marketing campaign must address the need of customers. It is highly important for International companies to understand the local culture and demands before it translates its offerings.

Therefore, when approaching China’s E-commerce, it is advisable to partner with a local digital agency as it is equipped with the right set of skills to find a “sweet spot” between the International brand value and the preference of Chinese consumers.

 Presence of Imported fruits online store on Chinese E-commerce Platforms

Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on TMALL or TMALL Global

Imported Fruits in China
Selling imported fruits on TMALL

TMALL holds the biggest market share in the e-commerce market of China at 57%. It mainly focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes TMALL the most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China. It provides an opportunity for International brands to open exclusive online stores and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.

TMALL has an invitation-only policy where only qualified international brands can either be invited to join or can apply through a local digital marketing agency. For more information on how to sell International products through TMALL, please contact a digital marketing agency.

 Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on JD.com

Imported fruits in China
Selling imported fruit on JD.com

JD.com is China’s largest online direct sales company. It relatively has less market share than TMALL.com. International companies can open individual online stores on JD.com. JD’s cross-border service enables suppliers to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a local presence.JD.com is less expensive than TMALL.com. JD.com has a zero-tolerance policy for counterfeit products.

 Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on Haitao Web Interface

Imported fruits in China
Selling Imported fruits in China on Cross-Border website

There are several cross-border websites that cater to international brands. Cross-border B2C e-commerce refers to a form of B2C (business to consumer) online purchasing where consumers can purchase foreign goods online via e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, such as kjt.com, Tmall Global, and others, who are set up to operate within special Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in China. Chinese consumers prefer buying imported products from Haitao websites. To learn about which Haitao is suitable for your to brand please contact a local marketing agency catering to International brands.

 Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on Taobao

Imported fruits in China
Selling imported fruits on Taobao

Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group. It offers the largest C2C e-commerce marketplace in China. Taobao allows registered or non-registered businesses to sell directly to consumers. Establishing a store on Taobao is virtually free but the online marketplace is ruled by small sole sellers who compete fiercely on price and honesty and authenticity is an unwritten rule of their trade ethics. Sellers with low budget and low-quality products opt for this platform.

 Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on WeChat app

Imported fruits in China
Selling Imported fruit on Wechat/Wechat Store

WeChat is engrained in the lifestyles of Chinese consumers. It is an all-in-one app that integrates social e-commerce seamlessly. Wechat store gives numerous possibilities to International brands to reach Chinese consumers effectively. Possibilities range from Branding to campaigning and easy payment methods.

Meeting Demand of Imported fruits in China on WeChat Store

WeChat Service Account is considered the most suitable for business and organization that aspires to access advanced WeChat Official Account. Service accounts allow more APIs (Minisite) and companies are can open their own store. The online store can be used to manage products, take orders, display products, and manage customer complaints. For more information on how to manage Wechat stores, international companies are advised to partner with an expert Digital Marketing Agency, willing to apply for an Official WeChat Account on behalf of the international company.

Are you interested in selling Imported fruits in China in on E-commerce market, and learn how you can target Chinese consumers digitally? You are welcome to call us for a friendly discussion and learn about your brand’s prospects in the Chinese E-commerce market. Our Digital Marketing agency provides international brands with tools that are optimal to unlock this enormous market to earn their full potential. If you are interested in exploring Chinese Digital E-Commerce platforms, reach out to us for customized advice.

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5 Comments

  1. Hello,

    We are an exporter based in British Columbia, Canada. We export the local BC fruit crops such as apples, blueberries and cherries. We were wanting to get into selling to China via E-commerce but were wanting to know which would be be a better platform to sell on between Tmall and JD.
    Thanks

  2. We are located in Brazil and we are interested in partnering with you.

    We would like to export our Palm Heart first and then our fruit to china.
    We manufacture here in Brazil with our brand

    we can sell a box with 15 units or even a pot of 540 grams.
    We have already exported large volumes of DHL air cargo as pallet cargo with 80 boxes and container

    How we could format a partnership.
    do you have any idea?
    Thanks

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