Pineapples from Costa Rica are tight on supplies right now.
“Right now the market for pineapples is a little short out of Costa Rica. But it looks like within the next two to three weeks, we should have good supplies out of there,” says Jesse Garcia of LA Produce Distributors LLC in Los Angeles, Ca. He notes the tighter supply comes from the natural floration that occurs within the crop, a process which just happened in late summer. “And when that hits, it decimates the whole crop and you have to wait for the next acreage to be available,” he adds.
That opened up the market somewhat for other countries to bring in the fruit. “When the market got good a few weeks ago, Colombia was shipping a bit of fruit but Colombian pineapple quality is a little sub par compared to Costa Rica,” says Garcia. “And Mexico ships here as long as the market bears it but as soon as it dips a little bit, they can’t handle the cheap prices.”
Demand not as strong
At the same time though, demand for pineapples has been soft. “I think that’s why the market didn’t go up higher than it did,” says Garcia. “As soon as the market jumped up into double digits, the ads and the promotion fell off a little bit because they couldn’t be aggressive on the promotions. The volume is all predicated on promotions from the retailers. If they’re not promoting, the volume isn’t huge.”
And while volume looks similar to what was seen last year at this time, pricing does somewhat as well. “We’re selling anywhere from $12-$13—it’s pretty consistent every year,” says Garcia.
He notes that things will change shortly as the new crop of Costa Rican pineapples arrive. “I think the market will come off a few dollars as some of the larger players will increase in volume. We’ll probably see the market come off anywhere from $3-$5,” says Garcia.