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FOOD & BEVERAGE | editor, Singapore
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Super Foods Peru to conquer the Asian market

The brand aims to promote its agricultural products through multiple projects, including a collaboration with Singaporean retailers.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed players in the food and beverage (F&B) industry to quickly adapt to ever-changing needs of customers. Most starkly, those customers are now becoming more and more comfortable with online purchasing and delivery of food.

According to PROMPERÚ Hong Kong and South East Asia’s Trade Commissioner Erick Aponte, most consumers across the region are also now focusing on products that offer alternatives to traditionally consumed items, as well as those that will provide health benefits.

Recognising these consumer trends motivated PROMPERÚ to launch the sectoral brand ‘Super Foods Peru,’ a country brand umbrella that covers agricultural food products that Peru exports, which are said to have many nutritional benefits. Aponte notes that Asia has long been a region with considerable economic growth and a dynamic consumer profile that fits quite well for these food products.

In Singapore, particularly, the firm has created a unique and special promotion, which also includes the promotion of pisco—Peru’s national spirit—under the brand ‘Pisco, Spirit of Peru’.

For this campaign, PROMPERÚ is collaborating with two retailers in Singapore—Nature’s Superfoods and Zenxin Organic Food—to promote Peruvian products and create more awareness amongst consumers about the benefits of Peruvian superfoods.

“Asian markets have become a very big priority for us. When people are looking for any particular product, they may start to consider those which have Peru as their origin,” he added.

Peruvian exports to supplement the food industry in Asia

With annual growth close to 5%, Peru has one of the biggest international reaches of all of Latin America. In the last few years, trade with Asia in the fruit and vegetable sector has grown at a significant pace, with the result that exports of Peruvian foods are now predicted to increase exponentially in the near future.

Peru has a tremendous biodiversity and hugely varied geography, which includes the Pacific coast, mountain ranges, and jungles, allowing the country to supply a wide range of top-quality fresh produce all year round.

Aponte says it is because of these factors that Peru possesses an extensive array of superfoods to offer to the Asian region. Many of these are supplements that are easy to incorporate into tea, smoothies, health shakes, and even desserts. The country also produces some of the best cocoa/cocoa derivatives and specialty coffees in the world.

Aponte notes that these superfoods have been accepted by every major certification required worldwide. In general, each one of the products provides at least one significant nutritional property that is especially beneficial for consumers’ health.

“Our commitment is to teach the consumers about these products and add them to their grocery lists,” he added.

Today, agricultural exports represent Peru’s second source of foreign income, and is a stable and growing source of employment for decades. The stable growth of exports has allowed Peru to have an integrated economy that helped it to generate $56.17b (US$40.96b) during 2019 thanks to the 20 trade agreements which represented 79% of commercial GDP, and 89.1% of Peruvian exports, said Aponte.

Peru was also honored in 2019 as the first country partner of AFL, organized together with the Peruvian Agrarian Producers Guilds (AGAP).

Launch of ‘Super Foods Peru’ in Asia

During Asia Fruit Logistica 2017, PROMPERÚ officially launched the ‘Super Foods Peru’ brand to help to promote all its agricultural products and further increase their exports. Asia has long been a region with considerable economic growth and a dynamic consumer profile that fits quite well for the superfoods, notes Aponte.

For this reason, PROMPERÚ decided to open the Hong Kong office, adding it to its network of existing trade offices in the region specifically to promote the development of its commercial presence in Hong Kong and South-East Asia.

“We have an impactful Asian influence in Peru, and it has played an important role in the development of our gastronomy as well, so it is only natural that we continue to develop our connection to the region and mutually share our best goods and services,” Aponte added.

Super Foods ranks as one of the world leaders in exports of a variety of products including blueberries, avocados, table grapes, mandarins, mangoes, asparagus, quinoa, maca, and chia seeds.

“Since the brand ‘Super Foods Peru’ has been launched, we have been able to gain access for our avocados in Thailand, as well as for our quinoa in China, and our exports of blueberries, mangos and mandarins to the region has also increased dramatically,” said Aponte.

Furthermore, PROMPERÚ is developing promotional campaigns to boost its food products in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok unique to each market—also under the ‘Super Foods Peru’ brand.

“We will work with each retailer in Singapore to launch a ‘immunity pack’ comprising a range of immune-boosting superfoods from Peru. Besides, we are also developing campaigns focusing on healthy snacks and drinks, as well as in restaurant promotion later in the year,” said Aponte.

Future of Peru’s market

Aponte notes that the pandemic has slowed the pace of market access for Peru’s fresh produce. Some of these challenges include exporting blueberries to India and Malaysia, citrus to India and Vietnam, pomegranates to China, Malaysia, South Korea, and Taiwan, avocados to the Philippines and Malaysia, and grapes to Japan.

Nonetheless, this year’s focus is to supply the increasing demand for both fresh and dry superfoods via retail and consumer campaigns as well as strategic partnerships like those slated for Singapore. The development of e-commerce platforms are also now at the pace at which retailers swiftly transform to become e-tailers and PROMPERÚ aims to tap into this as well.

“We expect that those processes will return to the normal pace in 2021 to start to increase business soon,” he added.

One of the future projects that has a lot of potential for Peru is to become an important producer and exporter of cherries. PROMPERÚ’s plan is to schedule harvests for months prior to December—when the harvest in Chile begins, taking advantage of the commercial window and reaching China as the first commercial market.

By now, PROMPERÚ is working to fill all the requirements of the Peruvian National Service of Health and Food Quality (SENASA) in order to obtain the authorization to import the cherry plant from the United States and Chile.

 

 

 

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