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Imported food sees boost in sales from first CIIE Release date: 2019-10-10    Source:CGTN

The second China International Import Expo (CIIE) is now only one month away. Like at the inaugural expo, many visiters have high expectations for this year's event.

As the saying goes, food is the first necessity of human beings. Food is one of the most popular imported products at the first CIIE. And since then some foreign brands get their world-renowned food and drinks into China more easily, thanks to their presence at the CIIE and some relaxed Customs policies.

"I like Belgian pears very much. I had never eaten one before. It was so tasty and juicy off my first bite. Now, I buy them every time I go shopping," said Shanghai resident He Aiqiu.

Likely, Chinese consumers are becoming more health-conscious and venturous and are consuming more and more outlandish fruits.

Tang Jiaya, a young mother, said, "I buy more foreign fruits nowadays. I ate a lot of avocadoes when I needed to lose weight after giving birth to my daughter."

Entering China in 1998, world-renowned fruit and vegetable company Dole has built up a network of over 1,600 retail sites in 150 cities countrywide. Even so, Dole said its participation in the first CIIE last year has greatly boosted its business and recognition in China.

"We reached over 100 potential business clients at last year's expo and made other connections afterward. Exhibiting at the expo is a kind of national endorsement for our brand. Consumers know that we are high-quality and reliable," said Wang Na, brand director of Dole (Shanghai) Fruits and Vegetables Trading Co., Ltd.

Rapid economic growth in China over the past several decades has expanded the country's middle class, and they want better and fresher imported food on their dinner tables.

Fruit milkshake is Li Yanxin's favorite drink. She bought domestic fresh milk or imported room-temperature milk in the past, but as Customs clearance took several days, imported fresh milk would almost be a no-no.

"I had to finish the imported fresh milk within three days of purchase because it was already very close to the end of its shelf life when I bought it," Shanghai resident Li said.

She can now buy imported fresh milk within 72 hours of its production at a foreign farm. What has made it possible was a trial policy from last year's CIIE, which allows a batch of pilot companies, including New Zealand dairy brand Theland, to go through special Customs clearance.

The benefits of the new policy stood out on their own, for the brand's sales in China more than tripled in the first quarter of this year and took a leading position in the import dairy market.

"The CIIE is a platform of policy innovation to encourage international trade more conveniently, allowing more foreign brands to bring high-quality products to Chinese consumers. Its benefit for companies is long-lasting. We are grateful that our brand can make the most of this platform," said Sheng Wenhao, board chairman of Theland New Cloud (Shanghai) Digimart Limited.

Companies say they have high expectations for the second CIIE to be held in November and will bring more products or increase their offerings at the show to satisfy the growing appetites of Chinese consumers.

By Lin Nan