Our cherries get the luxury treatment

TASMANIAN cherries are at the forefront of an export push into Asia with the latest campaign into the markets seeing the gourmet produce peddled with a luxurious finish.

Ribbon-handled gift boxes filled with premium Australian cherries were the weapons of choice in the targeted campaign that focused on Vietnamese and Malaysian markets.. 4000 boxes moved off the shelf quickly with the help of local sales methods and influencers.

The inaugural effort between Taste Australia, a joint initiative led by Hort Innovation with Australian growers and AUSTRADE, and five leading importers was timed to support sales activities in the lead up to the Lunar New Year peak season.

Hort Innovation head of trade Brei Montgomery said the aim of the campaign was to educate importers, retail partners, influencers, media and most importantly consumers on the premium nature and high quality of Australian cherries – and the results were encouraging.

“By all accounts, the cherry displays we had in place in major retail outlets across Vietnam and Malaysia were attracting large crowds, and consumers enjoyed the novelty of this high-end offering,” Ms Montgomery said.

“All of the boxes sold out, and our importer partners have requested that we supply a larger number next season, which is really positive.”

In the 2020/2021 financial year, 16 per cent of Australia’s cherries were exported to Vietnam, while a further 4.5 per cent were exported to Malaysia. Australia exported 802 tonnes of cherries to Vietnam this season, 5.5 per cent or 42 tonnes up on last season. Tasmanian exports amounted to a total of 418 tonnes. Vietnam is Australia’s second largest export market and Tasmania’s third largest.

Approximately 200 tonnes have been exported into Malaysia and almost 1000 tonnes to Hong Kong, almost a quarter of the 3897 tonnes exported in total. However, a drop in volume of 17 per cent meant the value fell by 11 per cent to $73.22 million.