Following a record-low volume in October of Caribbean Red Papaya due to extreme late summer weather in Guatemala, supplies of Caribbean Red Papaya have come back with significant strength.
“Overall we’re about 30 percent higher this year over last and 15 percent for the three-year average,” says Peter Leifermann with Brooks Tropicals LLC in Homestead, Fl.
The Guatemalan-grown papaya is a non-genetically modified brand of Tainung variety papaya. The fruit’s ready to eat at 50 percent blush and doesn’t need to be fully yellow to be consumed.
While Guatemala is the country of origin for the Caribbean Red Papaya, Mexico is the main competitive growing region for Caribbean Red Papaya. “Although we co-exist fairly and both offer the consumer something different,” adds Leifermann.
How to sell it?
Demand for the fruit has grown in both Western and mid-Western states as well as parts of Canada, though as many produce marketers can appreciate, how to sell the fruit remains a question. “We fight something of a misperception about our consumer,” says Leifermann. “We’re constantly being told how time-pressed and convenience minded everyone is nowadays which leads some marketers to believe all of their fruit sales growth is in pre-cut product.”
However, Leifermann also says that the shopping carts of the largest fresh produce consuming families are full of whole fruits and vegetables across all categories.
As for pricing, following the recent shortage which saw Brooks only barely able to honor volume commitments, right now pricing on Caribbean Red Papayas are promotable in time for the holidays and January’s return to healthier eating.