In response to kiwifruit specialist agency China Shenshan Orchard Holdings (China Shenshan), China is the world’s largest kiwifruit-consuming nation at 2.2 million tonnes, or 52% of whole quantity consumed, however demand is continuous to develop.
“China’s kiwifruit consumption far exceeds the figures recorded by the second-largest international shopper which is Italy at 337,000 tonnes – we outnumber them by sevenfold,” China Shenshan Govt Director David Zhao informed FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Our kiwifruits are bought completely in China, and over the previous three years we now have seen a fast rise in volumes bought right here – in FY2017 we bought 1,380 tons, in FY2018 this was 1,664 tons, and in FY2019 this took an enormous leap to 2,844 tons bought. Web earnings of the kiwifruit enterprise additionally rose from CNY19.5mn (US$3mn) in FY2017 to CNY25.3 (US$3.9mn) in FY2018, then rose sharply to CNY53.4mn (US$8.2mn)in FY2019.
“[So it is clear] that demand is on the rise, and the corporate may be very assured within the kiwifruit market growth right here, [so much so] that earlier this 12 months we moved to grow to be a pure-play kiwifruit producer.”
Beforehand, the agency was referred to as Dukang Distillers because it had a primary enterprise making and promoting baijiu. In July 2021, the agency modified its identify to China Shenshan, disposed of its baijiu enterprise and is now focusing its operations totally on the kiwifruit sector.
“Kiwifruits are generally referred to as Chinese language gooseberry or monkey peach in China, and is well-known for being excessive in Vitamin C and dietary fibre in addition to different well being advantages,” mentioned Zhao.
“Chinese language shoppers at present have gotten increasingly health-conscious, so the kiwifruit’s tart flavour, low calorie depend and [unique] texture will attraction [to them as] a scrumptious and wholesome possibility for snacking, sides, or a singular dessert.
“The principle shopper demographic that kiwifruit appeals to are these on the lookout for premium and more healthy fruit choices – one other massive driver right here is the rising shopper revenue of those shoppers [who are willing to pay more] for premium-quality merchandise.”
To take the premiumisation a step additional, China Shenshan has additionally moved to certify a part of its kiwifruit orchards as natural, hoping to attraction much more to shoppers on the lookout for wholesome choices.
“In China, having orchards organic-certified requires present process a really rigorous course of to adjust to necessities [but we have successfully done this],” mentioned Zhao.
“We’ve 9 orchards in whole, three of which have natural certification and kiwifruits planted in these three orchards are labelled and bought as organic-certified.”
The agency sells each inexperienced and gold kiwifruit varieties, and has put aside 100 mu (6.67 hectares) of orchard house for kiwifruit analysis to develop new kiwifruit variants.
“We’ve our personal R&D division to develop our personal proprietary vary of premium kiwifruit breeds, and are additionally collaborating with the Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences on kiwifruit analysis,” mentioned Zhao.
The agency’s R&D focus is at the moment larger up the availability chain in kiwifruit cultivation, however decrease down the chain, kiwifruit can also be gaining recognition as a packaged snack product and as a flavour.
One of the well-liked forms of kiwifruit snack product codecs is as packaged dried slices, similar to these bought by PepsiCo-owned Baicaowei – recent kiwifruit must be refrigerated and may final no quite a lot of weeks, however dried kiwifruit slices have a shelf lifetime of as much as 12 months.
“[We use] kiwifruits from the ‘hometown of kiwifruit in China’ which is in Xiaxi – these are picked when they’re 80% ripe have a tasty aroma and much more refined style and processed inside seven days to make sure freshness,” mentioned the agency.
“The product is dried at a low temperature to protect as a lot of the unique vitamins similar to nutritional vitamins and fibre as doable.”
Kiwifruit has additionally been utilized by dairy large Yili as a flavouring for certainly one of its hottest merchandise, the Ambrosial Greek yoghurt. Paired with grapes to counter the tartness, this kiwifruit-grape flavour received Yili the Worldwide Style Institute’s Superior Style Award in 2020.
“[Products and flavours such as these] had been developed based mostly on Yili’s end-to-end massive data-based intelligence perception platform which captures new shopper wants and developments by way of Pure Language Processing (NIP), predicts product flavors and dietary features which may be well-liked sooner or later,” Yili Assistant President Dr Yun Zhanyou informed us.
“This follows suggestions from totally different individuals in several areas in actual time, thereby serving to us optimize product innovation and repair high quality.”