Pomegranate arils are in strong supply right now.
“Supply is excellent. We have consistent, quality product coming in multiple times a week,” says Leslie A. Simmons of Dave’s Specialty Imports based in Miami, Fl. Simmons adds that product is coming in from Peru, the main country in production currently.
Dave’s arils program has expanded annually. “Right now we are tracking about the same as last year, perhaps a little higher each week,” says Simmons. “The domestic season did run a little longer than it usually does so there was an overlap when the import side began.”
Also growing each year is demand for arils. “I believe we will see continual growth,” says Simmons. “We live in a time where people are looking for healthy, quick, and delicious snacks and ways to enhance and elevate their everyday meals— arils can be the answer across the board.” She adds that along with supplying arils at the retail level, Dave’s hopes to develop arils as a foodservice option for chefs or schools to incorporate into their salad bars and lunch programs.
Mulling over merchandising
At the retail level, there’s still consideration over the best ways to offer arils to customers. “Retailers who are merchandising the cups need to think about ways they can get the most movement. Does it make sense to pair them with berries or with the fresh cut items? Are there ways to offer a gourmet fruit salad or a pre-made yogurt parfait cup—where the arils can really shine?” asks Simmons.
She adds that this year, Dave’s has been working on different packaging formats for not only retailers who do a lot of fresh cut product in-house but also foodservice operators. “Our convenience cups have been our main item but we are offering bulk bags in a variety of sizes for customers who want to use the product in multiple applications,” says Simmons. “This helps to lower cost and hopefully prevents waste.”
As for pricing, Simmons says that FOB pricing on pomegranate arils cups is the same for the entire season. “Of course we have to make adjustments when freight changes on any delivered product. When volume picks up we try to offer some special pricing for ads,” she says.