Eighteen New Zealand food and beverage brands have joined forces to launch the first Country Flagship Store on the Tmall Fresh, Alibaba’s fresh produce e-commerce platform.
An initial group of nine, including Pic’s, Babich Wines, Vogel’s, Rockit apple, Future Cuisine, Pāmu, Zealong Tea Estate, Fiordland Lobster and Oha Honey, will begin sales tomorrow, the group – New Zealand Food Basket – said in a release. The rest – Zespri, Sanford, Kāpiti, Lewis Road Creamery, Sealord, Pure South, Shott Beverages, New Zealand Wild Catch, and Cherri – will begin sales in June,
“This agreement creates a single doorway that directly connects us to affluent Chinese consumers. It will significantly improve our reach and shorten the supply chain in a way that each brand simply couldn’t achieve alone,” said Nicola O’Rourke, chairperson of New Zealand Food Basket.
“It’s no secret that even big, successful New Zealand companies can struggle to get brand recognition on Chinese e-commerce platforms,” said Lewis Road Creamery founder Peter Cullinane. “A collective approach, with Alibaba’s backing, is a huge opportunity.”
In a test live-stream targeted promotion this week, Tmall Fresh received 1,200 orders for a New Zealand product in two minutes on the New Zealand Country Flagship Store. Normal sales for the same product in China average 200 units per month, according to O’Rourke.
Alibaba has also committed to partnering to market and promote the New Zealand Country Flagship Store, providing special access for 200 products in the New Zealand Food Basket to participate in targeted promotions and campaigns, she added.
Tmall is China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers and its physical goods GMV or, gross merchandise volume – the amount of sales on the e-commerce platform – grew 29 percent year-on-year in the quarter ended Dec 31, 2018, Alibaba said.
In the 12 months to March 31, it was 2.1 trillion yuan versus 1.2 trillion yuan in the year to March 2016, according to Alibaba’s annual report. It currently hosts more than 20,000 brands in over 4,000 categories from 77 countries and regions.
New Zealand Food Basket has the support of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.