With ample pineapple supplies right now, pricing is on the lower side. “I thought everything would be a little short on pineapple but it’s not. They’re all coming from Costa Rica right now and there’s not really Mexican fruit available,” says Jesse Garcia of LA Produce Distributors. He notes that when the market comes down, Mexico steps out of the pineapple market and there haven’t been pineapples available for Mexico in at least a month.
Meanwhile, while demand for pineapple is good, it largely depends on price. “If you price everything correctly you can move pineapples. It’s just a matter of if retailers and shippers can price it accordingly or promote the fruit. However, if you want to make a lot of money on it, it slows down the channels,” Garcia says, adding that pricing last year at this time was fairly close to the current pricing.
Pricing could slowly pick up
He does note that pricing will likely gain some strength in the coming weeks. “When the market goes up to $13-$14, Mexico steps back in again and right now the market is $10-$11,” he says. “I also think at the first of the year, the price might take a little upswing. These prices can’t stay where they’re at--the growers are losing money. The big companies push the market where it’s going to go and if they have a lot of fruit, the market gets cheap.”
However long-term demand and how it will develop is a bit of a wait-and-see situation. “Pineapple is a luxury item. With the economy and with inflation going up, people may buy fewer pineapples I’m afraid,” Garcia says. “If they’re spending $100 on groceries, pineapples might not make that list.”