The banana of Guadeloupe and Martinique is produced and sold all year round, but it still has a seasonality. “From June to September, the demand for bananas is always lower. However, this year, the 600 producers of the banana sector of Guadeloupe and Martinique are facing a very severe drought. This drought has had a major impact on production since March 2020, leading to a decrease in volumes and significant damages to the plantations which will be felt even at the beginning of the next season,” explains Pierre Monteux, general manager of UGPBAN Fruidor.
“Bananas were seen as a ‘safe haven’ during lockdown”
The sales of bananas from Guadeloupe and Martinique boomed during lockdown. “We noted a clear increase in the consumption of the ‘French Banana’, with its blue-white-red ribbon (launched on the market in 2016),” explains Pierre Monteux.
“During this period, consumers felt an even stronger need to consume French products, as an act of good citizenship. This was also facilitated by retailers’ choice to favor the supplies of fruit and vegetables from France. We nevertheless had to reduce our segmentation in order to optimize the work of our ripening teams and meet the demand from retailers, whose supermarket shelves were limited.”
For the French banana sector, this represented a double challenge: satisfying the demand from consumers while protecting staff and employees. After the lockdown, the increase in French bananas continued to evolve with some peaks, and then the market stabilized again.
“There is a clear increase in bulk again”
As part of its commitment to sustainable development, the banana sector of Guadeloupe and Martinique has been limiting its use of plastic for years (with the segmentation of the French Banana, for example). Its goal is to expand its offer in bulk and to obtain the ecological blue-white-red (non-plastic) ribbon for the French Banana range.
“During lockdown, this research work was suspended, but it is resuming today. Although consumers turned away from bulk products during lockdown for practical and logistical reasons, bulk should now increase significantly again.”
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