China’s fruit and vegetable market – distribution & consumer trends

China’s fruit and vegetable market - distribution & consumer trendsJun. 15 – China’s fruit and vegetable market is the largest segment in entire retail and food & beverage category. In today’s China economy, with immense expanding transport networks, Chinese consumers are able to buy more fruit & vegetable than ever before as the choice of variety available. With continuing incomes and lifestyles improve, China’s fruit and vegetable market remain supreme flourishing.

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables in China

Chinese people used to trade their self-cultivated fruit and vegetable products in the open-air markets in older time; they can buy freshly-harvested fruit & vegetable straight from local farmers. However, these markets have gradually been removed from many local locations around the cities. Now with the mushroom rising of modern supermarket and hypermarkets in China, most fresh fruit and vegetable located within the stores, simultaneously, in today’s economy in China, the retail for fresh fruit and vegetables in China continues rising, changes in agricultural production and developments in distribution network, more fruit and vegetable produce is therefore moving around the country, reaching consumers even in remote regions.

Chinese Consumer Trends

In China, consumer confidence has remained surprisingly resilient over the past few years, as Chinese working people salaries have constant to increase, the wider Chinese consumers keep on up about their futures, they are showing a growing awareness in a more healthy life style and varied diet, and cooking with a wider variety of fresh vegetable products, even healthy eating and cooking programmer have gained popularity on Chinese TV, also, healthy food preparation books occupied broad sections of bookshelf, and attract a large readers, there is a growing tendency with considerable interest in cooking and cuisine among local consumers in China.

The Dynamism of the Fruit & Vegetable Market in China

This huge market accounts for about one third of the total value of agribusiness in China. Fruit & vegetable market in China shows day-to-day progress. While it is still seen as a traditional business in China with many unequipped producers still using old-fashioned ways, there is a trend to transform this industry with modern and dynamic techniques and enterprises. Farms are more and more specific and specialized and producers invest a lot in automation and equipment for the harvest, the sorting or even the treatment of the crop. The aim of every producer is to establish itself as leading actors of this growing market. Some of them have sales up to $350 million. Equipment and automation ration increase in farms. Therefore, production of fruits & vegetables shows an increase about 8% in a per year basis while agricultural area almost did not grow these few years.

The Main Production of Fruit & Vegetable in China

The fruit market has two different standards; the main production of fruit in China includes apple, pear and grapes. There is an important market for low-cost and low-quality fruit (including mainly apple and mandarin), with mass production. But since few years, a market of high-end production is steadily growing in China. It includes mainly imported fruits, but there are more and more China-based production selling high-quality fruit. However, this market is still lacks of production. Besides, there is also a market for fruits issued of the organic farming agriculture. This market is booming in the biggest cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, where price can be 3 or 4 times higher than other fruits.

The Distribution of Fruit and Vegetable in China

The distribution of fruit also shows some changes in China. Retail chains accounts now for more than half of the market in major cities. Moreover, fruit markets experienced the boom of specialized outlets and e-commerce. Indeed, the chain Bai Lao Yen opened more than 400 shops in the last decade to reach more than 2 billion RMB of sales every year. E-commerce is flourishing especially in the largest cities such as Shanghai or Beijing. Online retailers mainly focus on high-quality products and developed a strong service of delivery. Generally speaking, e-commerce in China experiences a growth of 70% in a per year basis and will soon become the biggest online market in the world. In recent year, China exported nearly 5 million tons of fruit, mainly to Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia, while it imported about 3.5 million tons (from the US or Australia). With the development of high-quality fruit and thus the higher margins that results, the balance are going to change. In the next few years, consultants expect to see Chinese importation become higher than exportation. For the List of Chinese Importers for Fruit and Vegetable available upon request, please contact with DCCC, or email to: info@dccchina.org