A new tomato variety in the Chinese tomato industry is gradually attracting a lot of attention. This variety is called the 'strawberry tomato' (or 'flavor tomato'). The strawberry tomato weighs around 80-120 grams on average. Li Jianting of Jianan Agricultural Science and Technology (Shouguang) Co., Ltd., recently talked about the development of this new variety.
According to Mr. Li, the production volume of strawberry tomatoes increased by 20%-30% compared to last year. The sizes of the tomatoes are more uniform this year too, and the sugar content is high. The strawberry tomatoes have improved in terms of product quality and flavor.
"Strawberry tomatoes were first produced on a large scale in 2021. Compared to last year, the tomatoes are now more uniform and up to industrial standards. Consumers are also more familiar with this variety compared to last year, so the sales have gone up. The order volume at our company has doubled since last year. We harvest in response to orders, and our orders have been stable. Our farmers are earning more, and that has made them more enthusiastic about strawberry tomatoes."
There are two harvest seasons per year for strawberry tomatoes. Jianan Agriculture can guarantee a year-round supply. According to Mr. Li, the market conditions are quite good between October and May in the subsequent year. The overall fruit supply is lower during this period, so competition is less intense. As for the price, according to Mr. Li, the retail price in Beijing and Tianjin declined compared to last year, but in Shanghai, the price remained stable. In Guangzhou, the price declined in May and June but then began to rise again in July. Mr. Li explained this development.
"The strawberry tomato is a new variety, and so production is not yet stable. Some farmers struggle to maintain product quality, which affects the price. In addition, strawberry tomatoes do not yet have a strong brand representation. Moreover, the shelf life of strawberry tomatoes is rather short. The strawberry tomato lacks competitive strength, which results in price fluctuations."
Jianan Agriculture specializes in strawberry tomatoes. The company has two major brands, their main brand 'Persimmon Yilin' and 'Athena.' The company owns plantations throughout the country with a total surface area of 233 hectares. In addition, the company owns cold storage facilities and selection lines. They sell to supermarkets and e-commerce platforms. "Our strawberry tomatoes always sell out. We occupy about 40% of the strawberry tomato market. And we can supply all year long," said Mr. Li.