Chinese consumers can now purchase fresh Mexican avocados online thanks to a partnership between e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and ProMéxico, a federal agency that promotes international trade and investment.
The avocados became available last week through Alibaba’s business-to-consumer fresh produce platform Tmall Fresh. To mark the occasion, ProMéxico invited Chinese opinion leaders and bloggers to its Shanghai office, where they got the opportunity to taste more than 100 dishes prepared with avocados, an event that was live-streamed online.
After the September 11 launch of the Alibaba-ProMéxico collaboration, Tmall ran a special avocado sale, selling 500,000 avocados, or 80 tonnes, in just two days.
The promotion also included a collaboration with Chunbo, an online retailer that specializes in organic and non-GMO food products. Fifty customers were invited to cook and then taste dishes prepared with avocados as the main ingredient.
Participants learned about choosing ripe fruit before preparing recipes that used avocados for appetizers, the main course and dessert.
Avocado consumption in China has been growing at an annual rate of more than 200%. ProMéxico explained that three-quarters of consumers are women, who prefer the Mexican fruit for its nutritional and skin-care properties.
The Chinese government has authorized the sale of Mexican, Chilean and Peruvian avocados, and the governments of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are in the process of obtaining permits.
Despite the competition, Mexico remains the largest producer of avocados in the world. With 176,000 hectares dedicated to their cultivation and a yield that grew 4.4% a year between 2004 and 2014, national production is now more than 1.5 million tonnes.
Source: El Economista (sp)