Monday, December 20, 2010

Papayas touting 15% growth in sales

Excerpts taken from an 12/20/10 article in The Packer titled 'Papaya demand remains steady'

Higher prices and rough weather couldn't keep papayas down for long.

"It's been a turbulent hurricane season in Central America, but it's done with and we've been able to come though," said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing at Brooks Tropicals, Homestead FL.

"We've experienced a 15% growth in the papaya category in the last year," she said.

Mid-December prices on 35-pound maradol cartons were about $20-$23, up from $18 the year before.

"The trend will probably continue until fruit from post-hurricane planted papaya trees start coming into the market in the spring," Ostlund said.

Ostlund expects papaya sales to be buoyed by growth in produce sales across commodities.

"The growth should continue particularly since the appearance of a new trend," she said. "If websites and blogs are any indication, this holiday season U.S. consumers are paying closer attention to vegetable dishes, whether it's an attempt at healthier eating or a realization that there's only so much you can do to a bird."