For Costa Rican pineapples, the peak of the season is usually at the end of the year, during the winter months. This means prices are about to increase for the holiday season. One importer makes sure she has enough stock once this happens, so she can still offer the pineapples at a good price.
During the summer months, things are quiet in the pineapple market. According to Astrid Antillon, Director of Tropical Republik, a Costa Rican importer working from the Netherlands, demand starts picking up during two periods of the year. “We usually see more demand for pineapples during the winter months, around the holidays. When Easter is coming up, another spike in demand usually hits us. During the summer things usually calm down a bit.”
During the weeks of high demand, availability can be a problem, says Antillon. “We see availability being really scarce in the weeks leading up to these holidays. And naturally, due to the nature of supply and demand, it will cause prices to skyrocket. However prices are stabilizing this season, as we’ve had seasons with prices varying left and right. It’s smart to import pineapples ahead of this spike in demand, by setting up a program. This ensures quality pineapples for a good price.”
When asked, Antillon says it’s no real surprise the Costa Rican pineapple is high in demand. “The Costa Rican pineapple is still high on the list of wholesalers, retailers and consumers alike: 50 years of expertise growing the fruit, willingness of growers to adopt sustainable practices, and of course the features and great endurance to travel in the golden variety. This together with rich soils and a unique combination of sun and rain of Costa Rica, it enhances the natural sugar-level of the fruit, making it one of the best worldwide.”
This summer demand for pineapples was unusually high in Europe. “Normally soft fruit and stone fruit replace the tropical produce during this season. This could be an indication of a change in consumer behaviour towards tropical fruit, maybe since tropics are engraved in the mind as being related to summer holidays.” Antillon says.
For the importing company Tropical Republik, there are plenty of challenges they’ve had to overcome. “We do everything to ensure we can deliver a quality product, on time and avoid all the possible issues that can generate claims. This goes all the way back to the fields, giving a differentiated agronomical treatment depending on the destination that the product would be exported to,” Antillon explains. “Aside of that we’re also increasing controls post-arrival to make sure that the product we deliver is in great condition and ready to be displayed in supermarkets and fruit shops and keep on reigning the tables of the consumers.”
Lemons are also currently in season, although these are originated from Spain. “The Spanish citrus season is taking off with lemons and tangerines with leaf, and they are available for export. We see popularity rising for leaf tangerines in Middle Eastern markets. Lemons are expected to be scarce this season due to the recent heavy rainfalls in Spain, there are not many alternatives in terms of production other than the Turkish. The season is expected to be a vibrant one,” Antillon concludes.
Tropical Republik is a proud trader of Latin-American and Spanish produce such as avocados, papayas, exotics, cassava and more.
Henk Van Hameren
Tel: +31 6 55 18 76 86