China Focus: JD, DSM and Xiaomi in the spotlight

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

JD has established a fruit alliance in China.
JD has established a fruit alliance in China.
In the first of our monthly round-ups featuring the latest food and beverage developments in China, we shine the spotlight on JD, DSM and Xiaomi, among others.

From as far as Canada, the US and, Chile, JD aims to bring fruits from all over the world to China in 48 hours

E-commerce giant JD has entered into an alliance with 18 fruit retailers.

With the alliance, JD aims for kiwis from New Zealand; cherries from Canada; oranges and cherries from the west coast of the US; and blueberries from Chile to fly directly to China within 48 hours. 

The alliance includes Kiwi brand Zespri; South Africa’s Capespan; US strawberry farm Driscoll; FruitMasters from the Netherlands; and Prize from Chile.

They would cooperate with JD in terms of 1) product packaging; 2) customised product ordering; 3) exclusive sales of new products and; 4) expansion of sales channels.

 

DSM predicts plant-based protein boon for its China hydrocolloid business

DSM's growing hydrocolloid business in China is spurring the company to expand further in the country,​ with the plant-based protein market a key area of interest in its upcoming plans.

After its gellan gum site expansion in Tongxiang, Zhejiang province in October 2015, the firm opened another facility in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia​ last November to focus on biogum (gellan gum, welan gum and xanthan gum) production.

More recently, the Chifeng site was shut down so DSM could make upgrades to improve safety, health, quality and environmental standards at the facility; it resumed operations earlier last month.

At the same time, a new innovation centre at the Tongxiang site was established to increase company's innovation capacity, with application labs for a wide range of food and beverage developments in China and abroad.

 

China pork sales: How education can help consumers warm to frozen products

Chinese consumers are willing to pay a higher price​ for frozen, chilled and imported meat when scientific information about its benefits are presented to them.

A total of 840 consumers from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu took part in the study. The findings showed that these consumers preferred chilled, packaged and locally produced pork.

The preference for frozen pork was consistently low across all four cities, with the number of consumers for frozen meat hovering at 8% to 11%. The preference for frozen meat is highest in Beijing (11%), followed by Guangzhou and Chengdu at 9%, and Shanghai (8%). 

In contrast, hot pork was highly preferred, especially in Guangzhou and Chengdu, with 61% and 57% of consumers preferring hot pork respectively. This is followed by Shanghai (45%) and Beijing (29%). 

 

From speed dial to tea trial: Phone-maker Xiaomi crowdfunding for new range of premium drinks

Chinese electronics manufacturing firm Xiaomi, best known for its range of smartphones, is currently crowdfunding for a new range of tea drinks​ from the brand Pingze.

The new range of tea beverages, promoted via the Xiaomi Crowdfunding Platform, is targeted to be launched this month, August 2018.

The Pingze tea drinks have already smashed the funding target, which currently stands at around 386% of the amount required.

The Pingze tea drink will be launched in four flavours: green tea, black tea, jasmine tea and oolong tea.

 

Country of origin, brand and tamper-proof seals…China consumers' most trusted measures of safe foods

China consumers regard a product’s country of origin, price, brand, and physical prevention measures such as tamper proof seals as the most trusted indicators in identifying authentic and safe foods,​ a group of researchers found.

In contrast, certifications and QR codes are less unlikely to win the trust of the consumers, the researchers added.

This is because consumers believe that these credentials and codes could be easily falsified.

The researchers conducted a mixed method survey consisting of qualitative and quantitative studies in three Chinese cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. 

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