Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.
Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.
Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.
see Chao's Bio
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China avocado market is taking off.
The passion for avocados started from affluent Chinese consumers in 1st tier cities.
Chinese consumers call avocado as “Niu you Guo”, literally “butter fruit” for its taste. This fruit is thought to be nutritionally dense and good for health.
The Growth of the Avocado Market in China
How Did Avocados Become Popular Here?
Thirty years ago, it was impossible to find a single avocado in China.
Nowadays, you can easily find such cuisine or drinks with avocados everywhere.
Avocados show up in restaurants, liquor stores, or supermarket shelf, along with its high price.
We can see it in salads, milkshake, pasta dishes, and juices.
The initial introduction of avocados into Chinese market is in the year 2005 from Mexico.
The variety called ”Hass” is a total failure.
Most of Chinese people couldn’t accept its taste.
It is different from other tropical fruits like oranges, kiwi fruits, mango, etc.
Some Chinese customers even regarded the fruit as grenade at their first glance.
High price accounted for the main reason why people did not buy.
With the total tax taking up to 40% with tariff of 25% and VAT among 13% to 17%, avocados could only show up in high-end supermarkets.
People stay away from these USD23/kg avocados.
That’s why the fruit remained nameless for many years.
The turning point came in 2014.
Chile is the country that the market success should be attributed to.
- With up to four-year-time business negotiation,
- continuous popularization on retailing market network,
- setting up booths at various exhibitions
- and organizing popular talks to promote the awareness and the nutrition of avocado,
Chile had exported 528 tonnes of “Hass” to China’s market within two-month-time, before it obtained the market entry license.
In the next following year, Peru opened up its market in China as well, enjoying zero tariff preferential treatment as Chile did.
And as Chile increased its production by 35%, the China avocado market became abundant hence the price became acceptable by the majority.
Where Do Chinese Import Avocados From?
Nowadays, China generally imports most of its Avocados from
- New Zealand,
- and Peru,
with Mexico as its biggest supplier.
What Drives the Sales of Avocado?
This exotic fruit is now reputable in China, esp. in 1-2 tier China cities, thanks to its nutritive value, containing fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and other elements.
Nowadays, family health care premiums exceeding income has become a biggest concern. More Chinese people are willing to purchase healthy food.
In addition, supermarkets and local importers make efforts to educate customers
- how to maximize the benefits of avocado,
- how to select the ripe ones,
- and how to make various dishes with them.
People always share their photos online with different recipes.
Higher exposure rate makes web surfers familiar with the fruit.
China Avocado Market: Chances for Avocado Growers
Explosive growth in the China market
The demand for avocados is currently focused in developed countries.
Avocado consumption is on the rising trend, not only in the US and Europe.
Many avocado growers found China is a new market with great potential.
Statistics show that the import quantum of China was only 31.8 tonnes in 2011. In the year 2014, the number rose up to 4,700 tonnes. And the overall import volume rocketed to 1,4980 tonnes in 2016.
2014 is an important year. Avocado imports grew by 376% in 2014, and Chinese people’s consumption of avocados has soared 127-fold between 2010 and 2014. In the first quarter of 2015, Chinese companies imported 486% more avocados from Mexico than in the same period of 2014.
Similar as pecan market growth in China, the demand for avocados in China market will undoubtedly continue to increase.
China avocado distributors and retailers are optimistic about this unstoppable market growth.
The chances for overseas avocado growers are extremely large.
Local Avocado Production in China
The shortage could be foreseeable in the next 10 to 15 years if the Chinese market continues to grow.
The avocado is now also cultivated in China, mainly in the regions of Guangxi, Hainan, Yunnan, Guangdong, Guizhou, Fujian, Zhejiang (Wenzhou) and Sichuan (Panzhihua city) in China. However, China so far does not make a very large commercial production.
Local commercial production of avocado is still in its infancy and the planting area is very limited.
China avocado market will depend on imports for a predicted long time.
Challenges for Your China Market Entry
Right Marketing Strategy Rules
Whether China avocado market is a lasting success relies on the right marketing.
There are two major concerns for Chinese consumers.
As the flavor is neither sweet nor sour, avocados seemed less popular than other tropical fruits like mango or kiwifruits. But people start to prefer its taste as time passing by, since I always hear people say, avocados can be of any flavor depending on the mixture.
- High Fat Content
An avocado contains 250 calories in average, which becomes a main reason for many people to reject it.
But actually it’s only a matter of knowledge obstruction, given the fact that the calories contained in avocados attribute so little to people’s weight.
Education is the key.
We’ve witnessed the success in big cities as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, where consumers are open to new things.
Sell to the Right China Importers and Buyers
It is a big challenge to find long-term trustful buyers.
We all know that an ideal customers should be powerful enough to place big orders consistently.
We’ve been successful in matching decent buyers with reputable overseas buyers.
It is both big business for you and China buyers.
Effective communication is the key and face to face negotiations are necessary in most cases.
We help you visit China local buyers in person, check their facilities, verify their capabilities and help you sell more.
You can see my personal purchase tour in USA and Mexico for Pecan business.
The Chinese avocado market is booming and it offers real opportunities NOW to both China domestic importers, distributors, but also overseas avocado growers.
Selling to trustful China buyers is a big challenge, but a right market entry partner will make it easier.