Pomegranate producing countries, such as Turkey and Peru, have not overlooked the increase in consumption of this product in Europe, and see this fruit as an interesting commercial opportunity. In fact, both countries were the largest exporters of pomegranates to Europe in 2017; Turkey, with 43 thousand tons and Peru with 14 thousand tons.
According to a recent report of the Center for the Promotion of Imports of Developing Countries (CBI), European pomegranate imports grew from 67 thousand tons in 2013 to 95 thousand tons in 2017. The largest volumes came from Turkey and Peru, followed by Israel and Chile.
Germany is the main destination for pomegranates, because the general conditions of the climate in northern Europe are not conducive to its production and the countries of southern Europe have their own productions. A second growing market is Italy, followed by France, and the United Kingdom.
Shipments from developing countries such as Peru, Colombia, and South Africa arrive in this space through the Netherlands, from where they are distributed to European nations. Spain is the main competitor in the European market, with a production of 50 thousand tons of fruit, most of which are from the Mollar de Elche variety, which is exceptionally sweet, has a protected designation of origin, and a season that goes from October to January.
Other producers in the region are Greece and Italy, the latter in a scenario in which demand exceeds supply, so it competes with Spain, Turkey and Israel in their own domestic market.
Benefits and trends
According to the promotion agency, the pomegranate has a good positioning because it's classified as a 'superfruit' with exceptional characteristics for a healthy diet thanks to its content of punic acid, vitamin C, and antioxidants. In addition, the fruit has also become popular as an ingredient for natural juices, flavored waters, jams, salads, and desserts. Pomegranate seed oil can also be found as a nutritional supplement and in cosmetic products.
Exporters are taking into consideration the concept of convenience to better take advantage of the European market. Therefore, pomegranates are not always sold as whole fruit, but supermarkets are also offering it fresh or frozen.