Worldwide demand for fresh grape exports from California continues to be high.
During the 2015-2016 season, California´s table grape growers harvested their third largest crop ever, sending 110.5 million boxes of grapes to more than 55 countries around the world, and setting a new record for crop value at US 1.83 billion.
Asia is the biggest export region for California, and geographically that makes a lot of sense because is just across the Pacific Ocean. Without Canada, which is a very large market, Asia is just under 56% of the total, so it is quite significant.
According to California Table Grape Commission vice president of international marketing Susan Day, California grapes “have seen tremendous growth in this region over the last 10 to 15 years and we are targeting more countries this year than in the past. The reports from buyers around the region are extremely positive.”
The total crop for this year is projected to be 117 million boxes, with the harvest expected to be ongoing through November and into December and that means that there is potential for California grapes to be available for the Chinese New Year, which is in January.
Day spoke of a very positive outlook for this season.
“We are doing some different promotional activities this year; we’ve done some promotions in China targeting the media with stories about California grapes, and we are also doing some consumer promotions in shopping malls leading up to the Moon Festival, and giving some ideas for a new California grape Moon Cake that we have developed, specifically for that purpose. All designed to motivate demand from the trade and consumers.” she said.
This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 96. Read more grape and other fresh produce news from that issue at: www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/145-2016-sepoct.