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M&S’s dancing fruit and bursting berries

Boasting that its marketing campaigns constantly break new ground, the UK retail chain said its ‘Adventures In…’ Food ads used new photography techniques to showcase food innovation.

M&S highlights the importance of store presentation in its latest annual report.

Boasting that its marketing campaigns constantly break new ground, the UK retail chain said its ‘Adventures In…’ Food ads used new photography techniques to showcase food innovation.

If you missed the dancing fruit, bursting berries and other fancy food features, you can catch them here.



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North Americans to Eat More Fruit and Vegetables

changes in fruit consumpt

Fresh produce consumption to rise in Pacific Rim

Canadians will be eating 5.7% more fruit and vegetables and Americans 4.9% more by 2025, according to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS).

And per capita fruit and vegetable consumption will similarly rise in Vietnam, by 5.3%, Chile 4.8%, Malaysia 4.5%, Japan 4.4%, Australia 3.8%, New Zealand 3.3%, Peru 3.3%, Mexico 2.5% and Singapore 1.5%, it predicts.


The figures are in the ERS’s baseline scenario for percent changes in per capita consumption quantities for 2014-2025 and appear in its recent report “Agriculture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)”.

Fruit and vegetable consumption increases as incomes do

The report says the figures reflect that income growth is associated with higher intakes of fresh fruits and vegetables in low, middle and high income countries. “This is due to factors including improvements in the quality and diversity of fresh produce and the effects of higher income on the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables.”


The report assesses the potential impacts of the proposed TPP trade and investment agreement under negotiation by 12 countries in the Pacific Rim, including the US. Population growth will be the main engine driving the 10.4% real growth in the region’s demand for food over 2014-25 under the baseline scenario, it says.

Increased trade in fruit and vegetables

The ERS expects the value of intra-TPP agricultural trade to rise 16.8% by 2025, compared to a 9.3% gain across all commodities.



Read the report:

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US Expert Says Consumers Want Easy to Eat Fruit

José Chaparro with Mary Ann Lila and José Gandía Giner at the Fresh & Life symposium

What does today’s consumer want from fruit? University of Florida associate professor José Chaparro says it’s user friendliness.


Speaking on Tuesday in Madrid on the first day of the Fresh & Life symposium on berries – within the framework of the Fruit Attraction fair – the horticultural expert said this means fruit that:

  • is easy to peel and seedless

  • of an appropriate serving size

  • doesn’t leave you with sticky or dirty hands or with things you need to find a bin for, such as seeds.


Displaying USDA data showing a drop-off in per capita consumption of various kinds of larger fruit in the US since 1980, Chaparro said that in the case of oranges, the reasons behind this include that consumers find them too big to eat all at once and that they can tend to be bitter.


Meanwhile, there’s been an “incredible increase” in consumption of small, easy to eat fruit, he said. In the case of grapes, the availability of seedless varieties saw per capita consumption double in the US at the end of the 1980s. There has also been a considerable rise in demand for blueberries, strawberries and raspberries – all easy to eat fruit that either have small seeds or none at all, don’t require peeling and are available in small servings, he said.


Diversification crucial


Modern methods are such that these days there are many kinds of fruit that can be eaten year-round, “but the quality isn’t consistent and the result is consumers are not satisfied,” Chaparro said. Instead, people need to be able to trust that the fruit they know will be as they expect 365 days a year. “But what kinds of fruit can you say that about? Very few,” he said.


Among Chaparro’s recommendations is that the fruit sector seek diversity not just in the types of fruit available but in qualities that make them stand out, such as the colour of skin or flesh (helping consumer to distinguish between products), new flavours and improved nutritional value.


And increasingly important is choosing plants that can cope with climate change, namely those that adapt more readily to factors such as high temperatures and spring frosts, he said.


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How fruit fared in China in 2013


In 2013, China’s fruit exports still focused on apple, citrus and pear. With 35 nations/regions obtaining protocols from AQSIQ (China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine), it imported more varieties of fruit. Thanks to zero tariffs between China and ASEAN nations, fruit is imported from Pakistan, New Zealand, Chile, and Peru at very competitive prices. The top 10 imported fruits (in order of import value) were durian, grape, banana, cherry, mango, kiwi, citrus, plum, apple and watermelon. The total value of imported fruit increased 10.6% last year – more evidence that China is an increasingly attractive market.

Apples remain an export market
In 2013, apples were still an export market for China. The total export volume reached 994,664 tons, a 1.9% increase on 2012, with a 7.2% rise in total value to $1.03 billion. The peak months were January, March, April, November and December, with each seeing the export of more than 100,000 tons.
Asia and Europe are still the top two destinations. In terms of trade volume, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are the top three buyers of Chinese apples, while in value, the Philippines topped the list, with more than $20 million, followed closely by Thailand with more than $19 million and Vietnam with more than $11 million. Two other buyers of Chinese apples also stood out: India (with about a 35% increase in volume and 25% increase in value) and Malaysia (30% increase both in volume and value). The Russian Commonwealth remains strong, but buyers have shifted to lower priced apples. Shandong province is the main apple growing region in China, and exported almost half of the total.

China’s apple imports
China imported 38,724 tons of apples value with a value of $67.6 million, down 37% and 26.8% respectively on 2012. In 2013, Chile, NZ and USA apple protocols were temporarily frozen, leaving little choices for importers. Only apples from Argentina, Australia (Tasmania), France, and Japan could be exported to China. At time of writing the bans on New Zealand and Chile had been lifted but the US had yet to regain access. As with apples, apple juice exports exceed imports. In 2012, China exported 750,000 tons of apple juice concentrate, however in 2013 the volume fell 1.7% to 601,000 tons. China imported 1,811 tons of apple juice last year, 75% more than 2012, though the value slipped 20.7% from $1.14 billion to under $0.91 billion. Apple juice from China mainly goes to the US – which bought half the total – and Germany, Japan, the Russian Commonwealth, Chile and Argentina. The average price for exported apple juice last year was $1507.29/ton. 
Citrus: China pays more for imported products
While in terms of volume China exported more citrus than it imported, the good news for suppliers is that exported citrus averaged $1,155/ton, but China paid $1,618.8/ton for imported citrus. At present, Argentina, Australia, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, and the US have protocols for export to China. (Though the US protocol was suspended last year, the ban may be lifted in 2014, according to AQSIQ sources.). Year-on-year, China’s citrus imports rose 53.6% last year, to 12,602 tons, while its citrus exports, mainly to other Asian nations, totalled 773,365 tons. The main exporting provinces are Fujian, Guangxi, Shandong, Xinjiang and Yunnan. China’s top citrus buyer, Malaysia, last year took more than 140,000 tons, up 46% on 2012. Malaysia paid $217 million, an increase of more than 72%. Next came Thailand, with more than 62,000 tons (+13%) and $106 million (+50%), followed by Vietnam. Price-wise, Malaysia paid a per ton average of $1588.20, and Thailand $1714.80, while, after a 39.5% increase, Vietnam averaged $685.3. Russia was the top buyer among European continent nations. 

Pears: import price twice that of exports
The top 10 Chinese pear destinations are (in order of value): Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the US, the Russian Commonwealth, Canada, the Philippines and Singapore. Border trade accounts for about 18% of the total. Shandong and Hebei are the top growing regions.
In 2013, China exported 381,281 tons of pears, down 6.9%. The total value of exports was $361.75 million, up 11.3%. The average price was $948.80 per ton. Though China only imported 3,766 tons of pears (+51.9%), the average price for imported pears was $1,834.80/ton. The total value of pear imports in 2013 was $6.91 million, up 82.3%.Argentina, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand and the US obtained AQSIQ protocols to export pears to China.

Grapes: export price 9% of import price
Grape exporters to China had a great year. In 2013, they sold 205,301 tons (+21.9%) to China, at a value of $55.23 million (+29.8%). Though China exported 141,128 tons of grapes, the average price was only $249.6/ton while it paid $2,690/ton for imported grapes. The export price was thus only 9% of the import price.
Chile and Peru, with the opposite growing season to China, had a great year. At present, besides these two nations, Australia, New Zealand and US (California only) also have grape protocols.