The popularity of prickly pears is increasing year by year, according to Frits de Bruin of Nature's Pride. "Particularly in the Sicilian season, from the end of August to the end of November, there is more and more interest at the retail level."
"Sicily has a good harvest this year. We have been working for two months now and are receiving good volumes and good quality. The supply is large and prices are at a low level, but that makes it interesting for supermarkets to participate. And again this year we are seeing renewed interest among German and Dutch retailers to agree upon programmes with prickly pears. "
"Our intention is to continue with the Italian prickly pears until December, because it is difficult to offer them all year round outside the Italian season. In the winter we also have them flown in from Colombia, but those are very small numbers, especially now that air freight is very pricey. I also sometimes have a pallet come along with the physalis and passion fruit that we import from Colombia by containers."
"We have the prickly pears packaged directly at the growers in Italy, at the foot of Mount Etna. They pack them in 500 gram packaging on a tray with the Eat Me label, so that we get them ready-to-eat here. I can see the enthusiasm for the product continuing to grow in the coming years. "
"Some retailers have to dip their toe in the water before taking the plunge, but by sending samples we still generate the necessary interest. It is a healthy, juicy fruit full of vitamins and with a high brix content. The product has potential and we are always ready to serve our customers and provide them with the necessary marketing support. "