Asian & ethnic products are on the rise in western Canada

Vietnamese dragon fruit set for a 12-month season

Dragon fruit from southern Vietnam will be running full steam ahead for a full year-long season this year. There can be possible gaps in June and July but importers feel that they’re on schedule to source the fruit for a full 365 days. 

Similar to last year Thomas Fresh still sources dragon fruit from their preferred region in southern Vietnam for quality that Andrea Dubak says is very good along with good yields that will enable them to receive as much as they need to supply customers. “Demand is up since last year. Asian and ethnic products are definitely on the rise in western Canada, which is great. It’s something we focus on quite heavily.”

Prices were driven up in the earlier part of 2018 but are now what Dubak says as calm. “Now that Chinese New Year has come and gone the pricing has leveled out a bit because the demand is so high around that time. We sold our largest volumes ever recorded for our Asian and ethnic category this Chinese New Year.”

Dragon fruit is a staple item with a core customer base for Thomas Fresh but they’ve done some heavy marketing for their more obscure ethnic items. Last year their line was expanded to add 40-some new items, including gawar beans, tindora, yu choy and white turmeric. Part of what went into the new packaging for these items included stickers indicating how to eat and cook these exotic products. “We aim to provide Asian and ethnic produce that is readily available for individuals who already use these ingredients in their everyday cooking, plus also educating and encouraging new demographics to explore these exciting products.”
Most of the fruit that gets imported into Canada stays within the country to fulfill the large demand. Logistically speaking Dubak says it’s more feasible to continue to work in close proximity to their three Canadian locations (Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon) to supply retailers nearby. 

For more information:
Andrea Dubak
Thomas Fresh
Tel: (+1) 403-236-8234

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