“A lot of South Florida’s production of jackfruit is gone—we haven’t had any in Florida for at least three months,” says Dennis Sever with Exotic Growers, Inc. in Homestead, Fl. “Right now we’re getting all of our jackfruit from Mexico and their supply is coming to the end. They have maybe another two to three weeks before they finish up as well.”
Exotic Growers generally supplies Florida jackfruit but doesn’t anticipate having any local supplies until early 2018. “The storm wiped out all the fruit from the trees and it takes nine to 10 months for jackfruit to grow again so we probably won’t have it until then,” he says.
The Mexican jackfruit is proving popular with consumers though says Sever. “Here in Florida, jackfruit are like snowflakes—no two look alike. They’re unique,” he says. “But in Mexico, they look like they’re made in a factory because they all look alike. They’re almost all similar in size, weight, consistency. They do an excellent job.”
That said, the fruit’s shelf-life is, not surprisingly, shorter—while Florida fruit will have a shelf life of a week to 10 days, the Mexican fruit’s life is only a few days.
Demand seems to have increased for the fruit though. “While jackfruit isn’t one of our big items—we do about a few thousand pounds a week only--since the hurricane, we started bringing in a lot more from Mexico and we sell everything we got here from our production,” says Sever. “We’re now doing about eight pallets a week now and it’s about 1,900 lbs. per pallet.”
It helps that Mexican prices have held steady at last year’s levels as well--.45 cents FOB out of Mexico. “Local jackfruit always sells at about 10 cents a pound more,” says Sever. “But now that everyone’s gotten used to the Mexican fruit, it may hurt our Florida fruit. They’ll still want the local fruit but may not want to pay the prices anymore.”
For more information:
Exotic Growers, Inc.