Thai fruits have a great market in the Netherlands since Dutch people love its sweet and juicy taste. In general, the customer base of Thai fruits consists of immigrants from Indonesia, China, as well as native Dutch who have travelled to Thailand.
People, the world over, are reluctant, when it comes to fruits, to try new tastes and texture, unless they have travelled overseas or immigrated to other part of the world. This is particularly the case when the fruit price is rather expensive, relative to the local fruits.
For Thai fruit in the Netherlands, we can divide the market into 2 groups:
1) Ethnic group, i.e. Indonesians immigrants. Fruits in their homeland are tropical and quite similar to those from Thailand- including red rose apple, long kong, durian, zalacca, and rambutan. Chinese consumers, however, prefer longan, mangosteen, lychee, and durian.
2) Local consumers. The Dutch who have travelled to Thailand like mangosteen, rambutan, guava, and Nam Dok Mai mango. Those who have never tasted Thai fruits before show preference for mangosteen, red rose apple, Pim sen mun mango, and Nam Dok Mai mango.
In importing Thai fruits into the Dutch market, there are several points of concerns to be dealt with properly. These include:
1) Quality consistency.
2) Shelf life in market. This requires very careful logistics before the fruits reach consumers’ tables.
3) Continuing volume. As fruits are mostly seasonal, the volume control can be rather tricky and has to be well managed.
4) Food safety and hygiene standards. All local laws and regulations have to be complied.
5) Appropriate packaging.
6) Unit price. As most fruits are air freighted, this has to be well managed to make competitive to other imported fruits.
7) Consumer guide. Consumers need to be educated how to eat Thai fruit for best satisfaction, how to peel, how to serve, etc.
8) Promotion. The key is how to get the consumers to try and how to supply them the quality products at affordable price.
Reference: Office of International Trade in Hague.