“With the continued development of the Chinese economy, consumers have ever-more demand on [sic] healthy and nutritious products,” said Ram Krishnan, president and CEO of PepsiCo Greater China.
“China presents immense opportunities for Select Harvests. Chinese consumers have long health and wellness traditions entrenched in their culture. They are becoming more knowledgeable about the nutritional benefits of nuts and seeds,” Paul Thompson, managing director of Select Harvests Ltd, told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“With increasing affluence, Chinese consumers are increasingly shifting to quality plant-based products like Lucky.”
PepsiCo China will be in charge of marketing, sales and distribution.
“PepsiCo’s expertise and local insights in China complements our knowledge around growing, processing and marketing almonds, nuts and seeds,” Thompson added.
Partnership for business growth
“Entering into China’s nuts and seeds market is a crucial piece of our growth strategy and we are delighted to be collaborating with Select Harvests to deliver this to China’s consumers,” said Krishnan.
Likewise, Thompson said that while Select Harvests’ Almond Division has significant export revenues, its Food Division is largely domestic.
“We have recently started to grow the Food Division outside Australia. This is the next significant step,” he told us.
“In the short to medium term, China remains our focus.”
For Asia-Pacific, apart from Australia, India and the Middle East are other key country markets.
Thompson said the Lucky products would be on shelves as well as available through e-commerce in China between the third and last quarter of this year.
This year, the firm’s Sunsol wholesome breakfast products have been available on JD.com since the beginning of March, while Sam’s Club (Walmart China) has extended the Sunsol range it carries and secured a private label contract for almonds.
He added, beyond the initial investment, the successful launch of Lucky into China is expected to create additional value to their business in the long term.
Furthermore, the firm will continue to look at innovating its product range “so that Lucky and Sunsol will become the preferred choice for consumers”.
Processing and export
All the products will be processed and packed at Select Harvests’ Thomastown facility in Melbourne, Australia, before being exported to China.
Select Harvests has also worked closely with PepsiCo China to ensure product labelling complies with the Chinese legislation.
Under the five-year agreement, PepsiCo China and Select Harvests are co-investing in marketing to support the launch of the Lucky brand in China, with the both of them making significant commitments to an advertising and marketing programme over the first 18 months.
ASX-listed Select Harvests is Australia’s largest vertically-integrated nut and health food company with core capabilities across horticulture, orchard management, processing, sales and marketing. It is one of Australia’s largest almond growers and the country’s leading processor and marketer of nut products. The company has over 300 employees in Australia.