The first pallet of Californian blueberries (192 trays), grown under T&G’s Orchard Rd brand, is on its way from LAX to Ho Chi Minh city this week.
The company expects multiple pallets of Orchard Rd blueberries will be exported to Vietnam every week during the season that lasts until September, following the Vietnamese trade barrier removal earlier this year.
When US grown blueberries were granted access to Vietnam, T&G Global developed a plan and route to market to leverage the opportunity for its blueberry category.
T&G Global, one of the largest growers in New Zealand and the country’s leading exporter of apples to the world, works with multiple supply regions to grow or source the best quality apples, berries and grapes for their brands, including Orchard Rd.
While the first delivery that arrives in market this week (week 23) contains Californian berries, in a few weeks, Orchard Rd blueberries will be supplied from farms in Oregon and then from Washington.
Vietnam is a fast growing market of 95 million people and while blueberries are a relatively new product for local consumers, research shows that they are already recognized as a super food and as a beauty aid for the skin.
Educated consumers are attracted to premium imported fruits with functional benefits and demand higher quality food which are convenient & easy to eat
T&G Global Commercial Manager North America Piers Hanbury says the company has been exporting grapes and apples to Vietnam for the past ten years from different supply points, and adding US berries to the mix only reinforces their presence in the market and allows them to leverage existing customer relationships.
“We are confident that this will become a significant market in future for us. It will likely take some time to educate consumers about the benefits of blueberries but in time it could take off like it has in China and other Asian markets” says Hanbury.