As the season for yellow Pitahaya or dragon fruit is coming to an end, supplies are getting thin.
“There was a big increase in fruit that was allowed into the U.S.,” says Ana Milena Pereira of Terra Exports based in Las Vegas, Nev. “Growers have been working to fulfil the protocol and to improve the quality of the fruit. Also, people in the U.S. have more knowledge about the properties and benefits from the yellow Pitahaya so demand for it has increased considerably.”
Most recently, supplies of the fruit came from Ecuador though Pereira notes that Terra Exports hopes the protocol for Pitahaya from Colombia will be reactivated soon so the fruit will be available to supply year-round. Colombia will also offer a second origin option for the fruit. (Pereira adds that other exotics including gooseberries, passionfruit and sweet pepino from both Colombia and Ecuador are gaining popularity in the U.S.)
One of Terra Exports' growers in Ecuador; Yanming Ding and Ana Pereira.
“The principal competition right now is red Pitahaya from the U.S.--it's grown in Florida. But people find the yellow one more attractive because the taste is amazing,” says Pereira. Demand for the fruit generally comes from Miami, Los Angeles and New York while globally, she notes, the fruit is popular in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
Pereira anticipates supplies to pick up again in two weeks and until then, she says pricing is likely to be high. “Next up, we will begin delivering yellow Pitahaya by sea in December,” she says. She also adds that Terra Exports is developing new options for packaging the fruit next season.