Apr 11, 2023|
JD Fresh Commits to Sourcing RMB 1 Billion Premium Thai Fruits, Including More Tree-Ripened Durians, to Meet Growing Demand in China
by Vivian Yang
JD Fresh, JD.com’s online fresh food division, recently announced it will purchase RMB 1 billion (US$ 0.15 billion) worth of Thai fruits over the next two years. With a focus on direct sourcing and leveraging its supply chain capabilities, JD Fresh aims to meet to the surging demand for high-quality fruits among Chinese consumers.
Earlier this month, JD Fresh’s veteran fruit buyers visited major fruit-producing regions in Thailand and signed procurement orders of durians, coconuts, and longans, among other popular fruits.
As the durian season begins in May, JD Fresh will join hands with local suppliers to explore ways to offer more tree-ripened durians in China. This approach allows the fruit to reach 85 percent or greater ripeness before harvesting, as opposed to the traditional practice of pre-ripe picking, which sacrifices flavor for a longer import journey.
To further ensure the quality of the fruits, JD Fresh is implementing liquid nitrogen freezing technology immediately after the tree-ripened durians are harvested and sorted. which locks in their freshness right after being picked and sorted at the farms. The fruit will then be imported to China using cold-chain logistics throughout the entire journey, ensuring widespread availability to consumers across the nation through JD Logistics’ extensive cold-chain network.
The Thai durian season runs from April to October, with peak availability in China during May. Chinese consumers’ insatiable appetite for the “king of fruits” continues to drive market growth, even during the winter months. In fact, during the first day of the 2022 Singles Day Grand Promotion last November, sales of frozen durians on JD Fresh grew more than 900 percent YoY.
During the trip, JD Fresh buyers also reached agreements with leading fruit brands like Joyvio and Goodfarmer to co-develop C2M (Consumer-to-Manufacturer) products. Utilizing JD’s market insights and sales capabilities within China, C2M products such as coconut water and frozen durian meat will be created based on customers’ feedback to cater to evolving tastes.
Importing durians involves a complex, multi-step process, and any missteps can result in decay. JD Fresh is revolutionizing this process by directly sourcing from the origin and utilizing its supply chain expertise, transforming durians into a standardized, readily available fresh product for consumers to enjoy at their convenience.
Additionally, through JD’s omni-channel on-demand shopping service, Chinese consumers can easily order fruits online and have them delivered from nearby offline stores to their doorsteps within an hour.
China represents the largest overseas market for Thai durians. In 2022, China imported 825,000 tons of durians, valued at US$4.03 billion, 780,000 tons originating from Thailand.