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Promoting kiwi food and beverage in Chinese market

25 May 2006

Promoting kiwi food and beverage in Chinese market

New Zealand’s profile as a producer of fine foods gets a major boost in China today with the launch of the first kiwi branded retail promotion of New Zealand food and beverages, Ministers Phil Goff and Trevor Mallard announced today.

The “New Zealand’s Finest Choice” promotion was launched today (May 25) at two upmarket retail stores in Shanghai, and is designed to help create new business opportunities for New Zealand food and beverage exporters in China’s booming retail market.

The promotion is a key element of the government's China Retail Channel Development Project, which aims to assist New Zealand companies enter the Chinese market and trial their products in a retail environment before committing to a major export drive.

“China is a priority for our food and beverage exporters. It's already our fourth largest trading partner, and our food and beverage exports to China make up a third of our total exports there. The sector is expected to benefit significantly from a potential Free Trade Agreement,” Trade Minister Phil Goff said.

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard said getting New Zealand food and beverage exporters established in China was crucial, given the forecast growth in the Chinese grocery market.

“The Chinese marketplace is large and dynamic so a collective and cooperative approach is vital so our industries have the critical mass to make an impact.

“This project is an excellent example of NZ Inc in action. More than 30 companies from around New Zealand are involved so far, representing more than 20 different product categories.

“By having products displayed in a branded New Zealand ‘shop within a shop’ format in two high profile stores, this promotion gives kiwi food and beverage exporters the opportunity to test the Chinese market before making a longer-term commitment,” Trevor Mallard said.

China Retail Channel Development Project
The project is a collaboration between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), New Zealand food and beverage companies, Heng Tai - a China-based logistics service provider and distributor, and Parkson – an upmarket retail chain in China. It provides a low cost format and allows companies to keep control of costs, volumes, prices and distribution choices until they are ready to make a greater, long-term commitment to the market. The in-store branded booths are supported by a targeted marketing campaign including public relations, advertising and a text-messaging (SMS) competition.

Other information
• Research shows that the growing Chinese middle class, typically located in the major cities on the Eastern seaboard of China, and in particular, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, are seeking convenience and value, and are increasingly looking for the healthiest, freshest quality foods, with food safety being an important purchasing trigger. New Zealand’s unblemished record as a safe, trusted provider of food and beverage products means its produce has an edge. The country’s reputation for producing world-firsts means it is well placed to respond to consumer trends, such as increased interest in health and wellness.

• “New Zealand’s Finest Choice” highlights smart kiwi technology with an interactive mobile (SMS) competition being run to encourage Shanghai consumers to purchase products featured in the promotion. China has one of the highest rates of mobile phone ownership in the world and the SMS competition opens a direct line of communication with Chinese buyers for the first time. Run by Auckland-based interactive mobile marketers, The Hyperfactory, who recently opened an office in Shanghai, the competition gives consumers the chance to win an instant prize every time they buy showcased products valued at RMB50 or more. Prizes include food and beverage products, books and souvenirs and participants can also go in the draw to win two main prizes of return airline tickets to New Zealand.

• “New Zealand’s Finest Choice” is being held at Parkson stores in the Hongqiao and Huaihai districts of Shanghai and products on show include New Zealand wines and alcoholic beverages, dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, a wide variety of fruits, chocolates, honey, bottled water, speciality food products and natural health foods.

• Parkson is owned by the Lion Group of Malaysia. One of the first foreign retailers to enter the China market, the chain is recognised throughout the country as catering to the discerning high-end Chinese and expatriate consumers.

• For more information about the China Retail Channel Development Project see: www.marketnewzealand.com/chinaretail


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