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Apple gift box sales lag behind, deviating from last year’s market trend

In 2022, premium gift-packaged apples enjoyed soaring popularity, with stocks depleted across southern cities. Merchants had to urgently source supplies from fruit warehouses at the origin to meet market demand. However, this year, a surplus of gift box apples inundated the wholesale market. So, how have market sales fared? The stark contrast in sales this year compared to the norm is evident, particularly with Shandong areas flooding the market with gift boxes. Despite this influx, sales have been disappointingly sluggish, diverging from the robust demand witnessed in the past two years.

On one hand, gift boxes now contain apples of various grades. In previous years, gift box apples predominantly consisted of top-quality fruits. However, this year, gift boxes feature a mix of apple varieties, including lower-grade ones. Shandong, in particular, has witnessed a surge in gift box packaging, with both companies and some fruit farmers engaging in this practice. Meanwhile, packaging in northwest production areas is primarily handled by large-scale packaging companies.

On the other hand, some gift boxes this year were assembled by merchants within wholesale markets themselves. Likely driven by cost considerations, certain merchants procured their own boxes to package and sell apples.

The sluggish sales are not limited to apples in gift boxes; apples sold primarily in plastic baskets are also facing slow movement. Moreover, logistical challenges stemming from cooling and snowfall have hindered travel and distribution. Overall, the anticipated sales surge associated with the Chinese New Year has not been achieved this year, with merchants expressing frustration over the unexpectedly difficult sales environment.

Recent feedback from the wholesale market indicates significant losses incurred by gift box apples this year, with some sold at a loss. The primary issue stems from an oversupply of gift boxes, resulting in average sales even for high-quality products. Additionally, the presence of substandard products within gift boxes, including variations in size and color, exacerbates the situation.

Source: Fruit Industry Information Network

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