Friday, September 17, 2010

Papaya supplies recover from cold-caused shortages

Stung by unexpected colder weather, papaya volume declined considerably during the spring and early summer.

In early August, grower-shippers say volume has been returning to normal.

In Belize, temperatures in January and February fell into the 50s and 60s.

Though not freezing conditions, those temperatures can stunt plant growth.

The plants, however, began recovering in June and supplies have begun returning to normal, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla.

Papaya supplies recover from cold-caused shortages

Courtesy Brooks Tropicals

Though papaya volume declined considerably during the spring and early summer, volume by early August was beginning to return to nomal, shippers say.

“Retailers need wait no longer for promotional opportunities on papayas,” she said in late August. “Our volumes were much lower than expected through June. Now that weather patterns are back to normal, we are starting to see normal papaya production.”

Though Belize growers produce papaya throughout the year, volume surges in the hotter months, when papaya thrives, Ostlund said.

As most plantings occur in June, July and August, Brooks has been able to project volumes throughout the year by coordinating plantings to bring less cyclical volumes to market, she said.

Brooks expects to ship 2 million 32-pound cartons of papayas this season.

Brooks sees papaya demand increasing.

“We think quality makes the demand increase, especially for papaya,” Ostlund said. “The overall demand in the general consumer market is increasing as the Latino and Asian markets are remaining relatively steady. If papaya had a P.R. agent, we would hire him. It’s a great talked-about fruit.”

Once consumers overcome the initial hurdle of deciding how to experience a new fruit, Ostlund said they test the waters and consider ways to include fruit such as papaya in meals.

She said papaya isn’t like an ingredient in a recipe where one can add too much or too little of the item.

Ostlund said papaya is amenable to many recipes as shoppers can add as many chunks of papaya they like.

Brooks markets its papayas under its Caribbean Red and Caribbean Sunrise labels.

Brooks’ ships papayas in redesigned box

Excerpt from an article in the 9/16/10 The Packer by Doug Ohlemeier

Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., has switched to shipping its Caribbean red papayas in a new type of box.

Since January, Brooks has been increasing the packing of its fruit in the box that Mary Ostlund, director of marketing, calls a corner post box.

Replacing a former carton Brooks used that wasn’t as display ready, the new container has a shorter top and graphics, Ostlund said.

“For the past six months, the box has gone through a trial period where we tested its stability and rigidity,” she said. “Designing a papaya box isn’t easy. Papayas love humidity while cardboard doesn’t.”

Brooks had machinery built to the company’s specifications to construct a box that provides optimal fruit protection while giving papayas the humid environment, Ostlund said.

She said Brooks has received strong retailer feedback on the packs.

Besides its Belize papayas, Brooks is a leading grower, packer and shipper of south Florida avocados and starfruit, Mexican limes, Jamaican Uniq fruit and ships smaller volumes of other tropicals.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September is Papaya month

So says the German chocolate company chocri (they spell it lower case), and who are we to argue!

If you go to t
he chocri website you can customize your own chocolate bar. Choose a base chocolate (white, dark or milk chocolate) and your favorite toppings (over 100 to choose from). Dried papaya is one of them. The bars are hand-made in Germany and then shipped to you.

Here's a screen capture of their papaya topping.

New tradeshow banners

Brooks Tropicals goes to several tradeshows and travels to a number of food shows during the year.

Sometimes the space we're given at these different shows won't allow our large PMA booth nor our mid-sized booth. That's where these banners come in. 40 inches wide, 8 feet tall, these banners can fit into any small sized booth, and they're quick and easy to set-up too!

These banners will do double duty for customer visits. With such eye-catching graphics, our visiting customers might actually, perhaps for a moment or two, imagine a red carpet below their feet.