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Passion for Pineapples


Pineapples are one of the top-10 fastest-growing categories across the entire store, according to Schaumburg, Ill.-based Nielsen Perishables Group. And the heat emanating from this tantalizing fruit has nowhere to go but up.

The Food Network has cited “Taste of the Tropics” among its top food trends for 2016, specifically “a craze for tropical foods,” including pineapples and even pineapple wine.

Further fueling interest in this tropical fruit are its compelling health-and-wellness benefits. An excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, pineapples also contain bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.

Tropical Timeliness

With food trends favoring tropical flavors, Chiquita reports steady sales growth.

To help consumers make the most of pineapples in their diets, Chiquita offers a number of flavorful recipes on its website, from Fresh Chiquita Pineapple Salsa to Hawaiian Grilled Ham and Cheese with Chiquita Pineapple.

“These fun and easy recipes are a great way to engage consumers to eat pineapples, and a great tool to help us drive sales within the category,” says Chris Dugan, EVP for Chiquita North America, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Today’s consumers not only want tips on ways to prepare fresh produce, they also want to know where their food comes from and how it was grown. Chiquita’s sustainability efforts are helping the communities in which pineapples are grown, as well as the larger ecosystem.

Spears and Simplicity

“Value-added pineapple has become increasingly popular,” notes Dionysios Christou, VP marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, in Coral Gables, Fla. “This trend has increased the overall per capita consumption of pineapples.”

Some of Del Monte’s top-selling fresh-cut products include cylinders, chunks and spears made from pineapples grown on its company-owned farms in Costa Rica.

Fueling the value-added trend is the fact that while consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and knowledgeable about food preparation, others crave the convenience of ready-to-eat options.

Packaging is another focal point for Del Monte Fresh Produce. “An integral part of making fresh-cut, healthy products successful has come from the need for innovative packaging that is portable, and at the same time maintains the freshness and integrity of the product,” says Christou. “Del Monte Fresh is continuously developing innovative packaging with the on-the-go consumer in mind, such as nonspill containers and cups that ft in car cup holders.”

As to the future of the pineapple category, Christou sees expansion on the horizon, with value-added and innovatively packaged pineapple increasingly sold across a number of new channels, including convenience stores, vending machines, drug stores and foodservice.

“Value-added pineapple has become increasingly popular. This trend has increased the overall per capita consumption of pineapples.”
—Dionysios Christou, Del Monte Fresh Produce

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