Online promotion gets Kiwi seafood to Chinese shoppers pronto

A New Zealand seafood promotion has begun in which Chinese consumers can order paua, greenshell mussels and Bluff and Pacific oysters online and take delivery within 72 hours.

The joint promotion between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and China's most popular online shopping platform, Tmall.com, follows a similar Alaskan seafood promotion last year, which sold 50 tonnes of seafood.

Shoppers across China can buy live seafood from New Zealand, have it packaged and air freighted to Shanghai within 36 hours and receive the orders within 72 hours. NZTE trade commissioner in Shanghai Mike Arand said the online channel gave New Zealand companies access to ''efficient and scalable ways'' to expand sales in China.

''We are very excited to have our first New Zealand promotion with Tmall.com,'' he said in a statement.

China is New Zealand's largest seafood market and exports last year were up 19% to $376 million. Total international seafood sales to China have grown in the past 20 years from $500 million to $1.5 billion.

Tmall.com's head of international business development, Janet Wang, hoped the promotion would prompt more seafood exports to China.

For a week until Tuesday, New Zealand products available include greenshell mussels, Bluff and Pacific oysters and paua.

Mr Arand said online shopping had become a major trend in China and for the third consecutive year, Chinese online shoppers outnumbered American online shoppers. In 2013, their number surged to 302 million.

The promotion's supply manager is Oceanus, which has been importing, promoting and distributing New Zealand seafood in China since 2011. New Zealand companies involved include PauaCo, Pure New Zealand Greenshell Mussels, Ngai Tahu Seafood, Pacific Marine Farms and Talley's, and several wine companies.

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