Mission Produce Increasing Avocado Sales and Consumption in China through Lantao Partnership
CHINA – Avocado consumption has traditionally been low in China with Chinese consumers having difficulty finding and eating avocados. To help remedy this, Mission Produce and Lantao have partnered to increase avocado sales and consumption.
The companies looked to previous experience before deciding to enter this market. Ron Araiza, Vice President of Sales for Mission Produce explained, “We saw a similar situation with Japanese consumers when we entered their market. Though they knew relatively little about avocados, their culture was big on giving fruit as gifts and eating fruit for health, which is a similar environment for fruit with Chinese consumers. So we figured it was a good bet that China was a great growth opportunity for us just like Japan has been.”
According to a press release, the big challenge was how to reach 1.3 billion Chinese consumers in a market where 80% of shoppers purchase their fruits and vegetables on a daily basis from traditional markets like fruit stands, push carts, farmer’s markets and small wet markets.
John Wang, CEO of Lantao, and his team used feedback from customers to learn the best way to teach Chinese consumers about avocados through point-of-purchase material at the traditional markets to help store vendors and consumers learn nutritional information, recipes and usage tips for the fruit.
“We came up with a flag campaign,” said Wang. “Promotional flags were distributed with each box of fruit that we sold so the fruits stands and markets could display information about avocados. The flags included a QR code, which is a popular way for Chinese consumers to get information or redeem promotions and coupons.”
The QR code linked consumers to Lantao’s WeChat platform, which provides information and direct fruit sales to consumers. The company reports that in China, 900 million people have cell phones, and 60-70% of those have capability for WeChat technology. There are currently 396 million WeChat monthly active users. That is a 40 million user increase over the end of last year.
Through the joint promotion between Mission and Lantao, avocado sales have risen 15% since the promotion began in September.