Ecuador promotes its bananas in China, sales increased by 835%
"Consumption is much higher in the northern coastal region and in the east of China, that's why we need to promote bananas here, so the consumer, who already knows the product, has a better idea of what its benefits are and that our bananas are the best ones in the world," said Karina Morales, Ecuador's consul general in Shanghai.
The campaign, promoted by PROECUADOR offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou in collaboration with the Chinese importer of fruits Goodfarmer, consists of nine days of promotional activities, tasting and discount in a dozen supermarkets in shopping centres in eastern China.
This campaign is following the success of a similar campaign in Guangzhou (southeast) in 2014, which coincided with the Chinese holiday week on October first (National Day), and will take place in eight stores in Shanghai and one in each capital of its two neighbouring provinces, Nanjing (Jiangsu) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang).
It will take place in known supermarket chains in key points of the Yangtze Delta, the most developed and richest region of China. The campaign will last until May 31.
According to Morales, the Ecuador's banana is the best in the world because it is completely natural, doesn't have pesticides and, even though it has to travel 30 days in a container to get to China, it still arrives in perfect condition and matures days after arriving.
GM crops are banned in the country, so the bananas produced here are naturally improved species. The have a larger size, a more homogenous consistency, and a different, more intense flavour because they are grown in the equatorial zone, he said.
Ecuador has started a gradual promotion process in a strategic market such as China, as the country bought 5.16 percent of the 5.7 million tons of bananas that Ecuador exported in 2014.
In 2014, China was the fifth largest market for Ecuadorian bananas, behind Russia (with 21.59 percent of total exports), USA (14.9 percent), Germany (11.72 percent) and Turkey (7.33 percent), according to the Central Bank of Ecuador.
According to the Chinese customs authorities, Ecuador sold 27,798 tons of bananas to China in 2013 and 232,181 tons in 2014, i.e. an annual increase of 835 percent.
According to data on this year's first four months, this trend continues. Banana exports to China amounted to 92,477 tons between January and April, 302% more than in the same period last year.
"More than three million people work in the banana sector in Ecuador, so it is a very important sector for the country," said Morales. Banana exports are Ecuador's main non-oil export product of to China. ■