Palm hearts, which are the tender heart of the palm stem, is a product with increasing consumption in Europe. “It contains great amounts of fiber and iron and has virtually no fat. It is very versatile, but it is mostly consumed in salads. The product is highly demanded by vegetarians,” says Juan Antonio Vila, of IMG, who has just broken into the palm heart business.
Recently, the fruit and vegetable marketing company International Med Growers (IMG) acquired the palm heart import business of a Valencian company that had to close its doors. Since then, working at the same facilities and with the same human team (specialized in this product), the company has been importing a lot of this product in order to continue supplying the same customers with which it was already working, mostly suppliers of large distribution chains, and doing so through reputable brands.
“We have the capacity to start new business relationships in the sale of palm hearts, which we can distribute all year round. We have producers in Ecuador and Costa Rica who supply us with the product, both organic and conventional,” says Juan Antonio Vila. Palm hearts are processed and packed in brine, both in cans and in glass jars, and they have a shelf life of 4 years.
“At the moment, we are distributing them mostly in Spain, although we also make shipments to France, which is one of the main importers of palm hearts in Europe. We are able to sell the product to large retailers through recognized brands of canned products, as well as without brands or under whatever brand the customer wants. We can supply it in large quantities, such as in containers, or on pallets, to grocery stores and small supermarket chains. We hope that sales will grow throughout Europe, since in addition to having a rising demand, there are very few European importers buying this product,” says Juan Antonio.