Stemilt Growers of Wenatchee, WA, and Lantao of Shanghai, China, have teamed up to be the first marketers of Washington-grown Starkrimson pears in China under the new protocol between the United States and China announced earlier this year.
Just like its name implies, Starkrimson pears have a crimson red color that brightens as its ripens. It has a juicy texture and sweet flavor with a floral essence.
Because of it striking red color and sweet flavor, the Starkrimson Pear is a good multi-purpose pear well-suited for the Chinese market, according to Mike Taylor, vice president of sales and marketing for Stemilt.
“Our experience is the Chinese consumer appreciates a sweet and juicy piece of fruit” he saidr. “We expect there will be an education period to explain the difference between a typical Asian pear and our Western-style pears. We feel very confident that Lantao, our partners in China, will do a great job in exposing both Starkrimsons and Anjous in the market, and increase their sales and acceptance with the Chinese consumers”.
Lantao has marketing and distribution facilities in six different markets in China, including the so-called “big three” Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou and also in the internal secondary cities of Shenyang, Zhengzhou and Harbin.
“Although our initial introduction of the Starkimson pear will be in the primary markets, there has been plenty of growth in our secondary market cities for premium fruit from the United States” said John Wang, president of Lantao. “Our so-called second-tier markets have populations of over 10 million people, with growing economies and a burgeoning middle-class.”
Dave Martin, export sales director, and Bill Young, export account manager for Stemilt Growers, were in China to see the first arrivals of the fruit earlier this month
“China is one of our important export markets, and we hope to achieve similar success with our pears as we have had with our apples and cherries,” said Martin. “We appreciate working with Lantao because they seem to grasp our philosophy when it comes to openness, trust, honesty, commitment and the belief in the quality of our fruit."
Stemilt is a major grower of pears in the Wenatchee region in Washington state. Starkrimson pears will be followed with an extended program of Red and Green D’anjou pear shipments into the Chinese market maintaining a steady supply of Red and Green pears through the spring, and early summer months.