Thailand may need ‘bigger boat’ as China’s appetite for fruit bites even harder
The latest chapter of Thai fruits’ success story in China is unfolding in the mega-port city of Guangzhou – and it’s a blockbuster.
Orders at the ongoing Thai Fruits Golden Months and Thai Durian Festival now total 20 million baht, up 260% from the same period in 2022, said the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), which is organising the events.
The festivals across the megacity of 18.6 million people are being held at the Lotus chain of supermarkets operated by Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group.
DITP chief Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit estimates that sales during the events will exceed 80 million baht while sales value within the network are expected to exceed 500 million baht.
Thailand is already the world’s largest exporter of fruit to China, earning 168 billion baht in 2022 as sales grew 3.72% from the year before.
Chinese shoppers in Guangzhou are snapping up Thai durian, mangosteen, longan, rambutan, and coconut at the festivals, which feature discounts and demonstration of how to peel and eat the fruits.
The festivals are running at 56 Lotus branches across the city and wider Guangdong province. The products are also being sold at special prices through the online platforms Lotus Go APP and the WeChat Miniprogram of Lotus hypermarkets.
The juiciest action is at Guangzhou’s central Grand View Mall, where demonstrations are giving shoppers the chance to taste different varieties of durian, such as Mon Thong, Kan Yao, and Puan Mi.
The pungent spiky fruit is also being served up to Guangzhou shoppers in the form of ice cream, frozen durian and durian cookies. Sweetening the deal are performances of Muay Thai and Thai traditional dancing along with interactive games with Thai fruit-themed prizes.
The festival atmosphere is also spilling onto the internet with promotions via social media platforms like Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, TikTok, and KOLs.
Meanwhile CP’s retail network is utilising Big Data analysis to target as many Chinese consumers as possible.