New Zealand Fruit Growers Leverage JD.Com Logistics To Sell Produce In China

Two New Zealand fruit producers have tapped into the Chinese market where millions of people can’t get enough kiwi fruit and a miniature, sweet-n-crunchy kind of apple called the Rockit Apple.

Massive new volumes of fruit sales in China by way of New Zealand have been made possible by the e-commerce giant JD.Com, also known as Jingdong.

Jingdong commands an active customer base of 300 million users. The company has deep penetration into all major cities and second-tier cities across China. Better yet, JD.Com has mastered what it calls “cold logistics” and supply chain processes. That makes it possible for fresh fruits from far away New Zealand to be obtained next-day. Kiwi and apples get into the hands of the end consumer while still super fresh.

The boon to New Zealand fruit producers has been enormous. Exports to China have skyrocketed to $606 million (NZ Dollars) annually. Sales of fruit on the JD.Com platform grew by more than 80% in 2018. This supports some 18,000 jobs in New Zealand and 2,600 individual fruit growers.

Zespri is a New Zealand producer of kiwi fruit. The company set up a flagship store on the Jingdong site in 2017. It also made a deal with JD’s brick-and-mortar grocery chain, 7FRESH. The combination of online sales and those made from physical locations was made possible by the unmatched e-commerce cold-chain logistics network mastered by Jingdong marketing, selling and logistics experts.

Ivan Kinsella leads China Corporate Affairs for Zespri. He called JD.Com, “the ideal partner” for enabling his firm to gain a foothold into the vast Chinese consumer market. That market is increasing health conscious thanks to a growing demographic of young professionals and millennials who are more focused on eating healthy, natural and fresh foods.

New Zealand apple producer, Rockit Global Limited, also opened a flagship store on the JD.Com platform. Like Zespri, the result has been an enormous boost for sales of Rockit Apples. CEO Austin Mortimer said that Jingdong’s 300 million customers along with next-day delivery capability have created a perfect system for bringing fresh apples to Chinese tables.

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