Australian pears bound for ThailandExport & Market Access
Australia’s pear resurgence took another step forward this month with the departure of the first mixed container of Goulburn River Gold® and Rico® branded pears bound for Thailand.
“Rico® are one of the premium-branded Australian pears launching in Asia as part of our renewed focus on export,” says APAL Industry Services and Export Manager, Justin Smith.
“Flat and declining domestic sales have had pear growers under pressure for some time,” explains Justin, who leads APAL’s Export and Market Readiness program funded through Hort Innovation.
On the latest market research into pears, Justin is upbeat: “New and exciting brands like the blushing Rico®, bright red Piqa Boo® and the juicy, Asian-like Papple pear variety are bringing differentiation back to the category, and early indications are there that consumers will pay a premium.”
Accompanied by a quirky marketing campaign and featuring the tagline “Finally a pear with personality”, it is hoped that Rico® will appeal to a whole new generation of pear eaters, with its appealing bright red blush helping it to stand out on-shelf.
The inaugural Thai shipment comes after a concerted drive by APAL to generate interest in Rico® and Goulburn River Gold®, first revealed at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018. A subsequent visit by key Thai retailers to APAL in early 2019, organised by AusTrade, formalised the export opportunity.
Growers selected Goulburn Valley based Seeka Australia as their sales and marketing representative for the campaign, confident that they would be able to tailor an export programme to suit the their needs.
Showcasing both pears at the Taste Australia pavilion at this year’s Asia Fruit Logistics, Seeka Australia successfully approached Thailand’s largest supermarket chain, Tops, to launch both brands in their higher tier outlets.
Seeka’s National Sales Manager, Cameron Carter, is confident this shipment is just the beginning for Australian pears in Asia: “Awareness of pear varieties is typically pretty low, especially among the green skin varieties. Rico® with its tongue-in-cheek branding and striking blush, will absolutely stand out in Asia where pears’ sweet and juicy taste profile are especially well suited to consumer preferences”.
The Tops’ deal coincides with multiple initiatives to build sales in the category, including the promising ‘Pear Pilot’ in Indonesia last week, Hort Innovation’s work to develop a new Australian Pears’ logo and ‘Dare to Pear’ campaign, along with ongoing work by APAL to lift pear quality through pre-conditioning.
Read more about how Rico® gets its blush.