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Paul Nicholls, Total Exotics

"Demand in general for tropical fruit is resilient"

Total Exotics supply a whole range of tropical and exotic fruit and vegetables to the retail as well as non-retail sectors. The company imports, exports and handles produce from around the globe.

According to a recent Kantar World Panel report tropical and exotic fruits have increased in both value (12%) and volume (8%) this year, Paul Nicholls, Commercial Director at Total Exotics, explains that tropical fruit is essentially a niche market with a loyal following and there has indeed been an increase in volumes sold. This is certainly the case for more obscure fruits, including fig, physallis & sharon fruit, but is also true for the more well known items such as mango, melon and pomegranates.

Paul tells of a challenging last few months in the mango market, since the Autumn in fact, "in October/November we were sourcing from Brazil, but due to a strong domestic market exports were short. Since the turn of the year mangoes have been imported from Peru which is becoming more prominent in the export of tropical fruit. Normally this is a reliable source but has also been challenging this season, with a shorter supply and less high quality." In 2-4 weeks supply will move to Central America - Costa Rica, Puerto Rica, Dominican Republic as well as West African countries.

As for the emerging sources of mango such as Pakistan, the Middle and Far East and South East Asia, Paul says these countries supply a premium quality mango with interesting varieties and are sources which are still developing.

As for the avocado market Paul says it at changeover period at the moment, the Spanish season came to an abrupt end due the climatic conditions there. The Peruvian avocados are still a week to ten days away and the South African fruit is still not consistent. Making the UK's favourite, the Hass variety scarce at the moment.

"Demand in general for tropical fruit is resilient," according to Paul. "It can withstand modest fluctuations in price. The ready to eat market is still relatively immature and there is a lot to be achieved here, Hence communication with and education of the consumer is critically important". He goes on to say that by enhancing the eating experience of tropical fruit the category will also be enhanced.

For more information:
Paul Nicholls
Total Exotics
Tel: +44 (0)1775 716800
Mob: +44 (0) 7584 213785

Publication date: 4/5/2012
Author: Nichola McGregor
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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