The Christmas season is approaching; a time of the year in which pineapple consumption usually increases, helping with its anti-inflammatory properties in the digestion of the copious meals that are traditionally consumed. However, the supply of this exotic fruit is likely to be limited this Christmas.
"Until very recently, we hadn't noticed any logistical supply problems, but it is true that, two or three weeks ago, we started to unload in alternative ports to circumvent these difficulties in distribution," says Patricia Anton, head for pineapple purchases and sales at Cultivar.
"At the moment, a shortage at Christmas is looking likely, because not only are there difficulties in contracting space for air and maritime shipping, but there is also a lack of packaging materials at source," he says. "There is fruit available, but there is a lack of packaging. So the shortages would not only affect pineapples, but other products as well. We will have to see as we go along."
Currently, the company is importing all the pineapples from Costa Rica, although it is planning an air pineapple program with Panama as well in the run up to Christmas. "For the time being, we are trying to diversify and look for fruit from different origins in order to minimize these risks," says Patricia Antón.
Meanwhile, the popularity of green pineapple continues to decline in the domestic market, to the detriment of pineapples with more color. "For some time now, the sales and prices of green pineapples have been gradually decreasing, while colored pineapples have continued to gain market share and reach an increasingly higher and more stable price level, especially in the retail."
As for air-shipped pineapples, volumes have dropped mainly since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Patricia Antón. "The limited amount of flights and the continuous increase in the cost of air fares have led to considerable drop in volumes and put an end to the growth that had been recorded up until 2019."