Saturday, January 16, 2010

Value, wider acceptance buoy tropical sales

Excerpts from an article in the Central American/Caribbean section in the Packer, published on 1/7/10

Marketing tropical fruits and vegetables in a down economy has posed challenges to suppliers from Central America and the Caribbean, but value and creativity have helped some suppliers maintain steady sales.

Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said red-orange papayas can brighten the produce aisle.

“In the winter, tropical fruits from the Caribbean shine,” she said.

She said the company expects Caribbean red papayas to arrive in good quality and commercial volumes from Belize.

Brooks Tropicals also is importing a variety of fruit from Costa Rica including plantains, habaƱero peppers and pineapples. Honduras is their source for malanga, yams and plantains.

“We are finding that all of our produce for this winter looks like good crops, good harvests,” she said. “We expect plentiful supplies through the winter.”