Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021 - 42

Produce

SPRING
FRUIT
BY ANDY NELSON

FRUIT SHIPPERS EXPECT STRONG DEMAND for high-quality product
this spring, though bad growing weather in some regions could affect
volumes and pricing.
Nearly all of the fresh fruit products shipped by Charlotte, N.C.based Dole Food Co. ship year-round. But this spring, the company
will be focusing primarily on bananas, pineapples and plantains, with a
secondary emphasis on baby bananas, red bananas and other specialty
bananas, said Bil Goldfield, the company's director of corporate
communications.
Dole will also work with select retailers to supply papayas, mangos,
kiwifruit, grapes, apples and other tree and stone fruits, Goldfield said.
The biggest change in Dole's program, Goldfield said, has been the
emergence of specialty fruits beyond its traditional cavendish banana
and pineapple core.
" It's a trend that mirrors Americans' growing interest in more exotic
foods and cuisines, especially from Central and South America, " he said.
A good example of that is plantains, which are starting to move to
mainstream as Dole and others work to educate the public about their
taste, use as a recipe ingredient and other advantages. Plantains are
now landing on North American tables as a substitute for potatoes and
other starches.
42 - MARCH 2021

Dole has stepped up its promotion of plantains in recent years,
Goldfield said, including a fall 2020 campaign that positioned plantains
not just as a reprieve from COVID-19 potato-recipe fatigue, but also as
a great back-to-school companion to bananas and even as a part of
Thanksgiving and holiday menus.
In addition to plantains, specialty bananas are also continuing
to surge in popularity as consumers look for new and adventurous
alternatives to old favorites.
" Their growth in popularity can be attributed not just to increased
promotion from Dole and other growers but also a commitment by
retailers to stock baby and red bananas next to conventional cavendish
bananas to establish a more regular consumer purchase cadence, "
Goldfield said.

supermarketperimeter.com

DOLE, PIXBANK - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Hurricanes in
November could
mean higher banana
and plantain prices
this spring.


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Supermarket Perimeter - March 2021

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