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Special Fruit on its way to year-round Wonderful pomegranates

With shipments coming in from various destinations around the Mediterranean, Israel and the United States, the supply of pomegranates at Special Fruit is pretty large at the moment. Wonderful pomegranates are coming from Israel and America, but this variety is also planted more and more in countries like Turkey, Spain, Greece and Italy. “It’s the most preferred pomegranate,” says François de Rooij of Special Fruit.

Wonderful is unique thanks to its lovely red colour, size, the sweet flavour and the ruby red seeds. The pomegranate contains a lot of antioxidants, is a rich source of vitamin C, and also contains vitamin K and iron. This pomegranate has a better shelf life as well. In countries like Spain, Turkey, Italy and Greece, the old pomegranate varieties are mostly grown. Cultivation is getting more and more professional in these countries though. François notes that a lot of new planting still occurs in these countries, meaning Europe will play a more significant role as a pomegranate producer in the future. “All sorts of trials are also carried out for the cultivation of Wonderful pomegranates, so the availability of this variety can be extended. Our own objective is to be able to offer Wonderful year-round.” Special Fruit sells the state-of-the-art Pom Wonderful brand. This famous producer of pomegranates is located in the San Joaquin Valley in California. In this valley of over 13,000 hectares, nearly 90 % of fresh Wonderful pomegranates grow, which the United States exports to over 55 countries. Pom Wonderful pomegranates are available until March.

Low prices thanks to large supply
Thanks to the large supply from various countries of origin, prices have reached a low level in the last months of the year. François expects this situation to be maintained until late January, when the pomegranates form countries around the Mediterranean are off the market. “After that, supplies decrease. Then, in March, the first pomegranates from overseas become available again. As always, prices for the first shipments from Peru, which are flown in, will be sky high until the first ones arrive by boat early in April.” He says that production in Peru and South Africa has grown quite a bit in recent years, while production in Chile and North America has stabilized. The most important market for Special Fruit pomegranates is Northwestern Europe, but Eastern Europe and the Baltic states have also become increasingly important in sales in recent years.

Traditionally, demand for pomegranate is very high for the holidays. François observes that particularly for the winter period, many requests are coming in. “Pomegranate is a typical Christmas product, and supermarkets emphasize this with all sorts of promotions. It’s also the most apt moment to promote the fruits, seeing how the best pomegranates of the year are available then: Pom Wonderful from America.” According to him, demand for pomegranates has increased significantly in recent years, as a result of the fruit’s positive health effects, which is seeing a lot of media attention. The pomegranates are also more available for consumers, now that many supermarkets have added the fruit to their product range year-round. “We try to actively contribute to marketing the fresh pomegranates, through in-store tastings where we give targeted product and useage information, combined with promotions.”

More information:
Special Fruit
François de Rooij

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