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"Santiago Zapata: "Sales in 2013 slightly up"

Special Fruit pioneer selling kiwano in Europe

Special Fruit was one of the pioneers who starting selling the kiwano (horned melon - cucumis metaliferus) in Europe about fifteen years ago. Founder of Special Fruit, François Maes, saw this special fruit at a fair and his curiosity was stimulated. The horned melon is related to the melon and the cucumber. "At that time we even had lorries going around with dancing kiwano's on them" Santiago Zapata of Special fruit tells.

Special form and prickly peel

"The horned melons are available all year round at Special Fruit and they come especially from New Zealand, Ecuador, Portugal and Croatia. The shape and the prickly peel are special to the exotic fruit. This does not make the fruit very attractive immediately, there is something strange about it. The horned melon even had a small role in the film Star Trek. It is also extremely healthy: full of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and magnesium and they are rich in anti-oxidants. The most important buyers of this exotic fruit are the supermarkets. The horned melons are well supported and recommended by supermarkets especially during the end of year period. Also in the media there will be plenty of interest for this exotic fruit and as a result the consumer shows more interest."

According to Santiago the demand remained stable the last few years. "We expect a slight increase in demand in 2013. This is part of the general increase in the demand for exotic fruit. There are also peaks and dips in the sales. At Christmas and Easter the demand is large, but in summer this decreases. Prices of the horned melons are reasonably stable, but dependent on the season. For instance there is a difference in price between local imports from Europe or airfreight from Ecuador."
Reasonably unknown
"Up to now the kiwano is reasonably unknown amongst the exotic fruit. The consumer still prefers better known exotics, such as figs, papaya's, passion fruit or jamberry (physalis). The pulp is light green and very juicy. An important point of interest is guarding the cold chain. The product is always to be stored at above 15C and a lower temperature is harmful to the fruit. Because of its sweet and fresh taste. Special Fruit has good reasons to make the product better known with the end consumer. We actively promoted the product at the start in order to draw attention to it. Now we want to start this again in 2014 with tastings and flyers. It is a very interesting product and we want to pay more attention to it next year" Zapata concludes.

For more information:
Special Fruit
36, Europastraat
2321 Meer - Belgium
Tel: +32-(0)3 3301792
Fax: +32-(0)3 3150843

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