Changes to the Pineapple Market Through 2020 and Predictions for Sales in 2021
After a significant increase in volumes of pineapples shipped over the holidays, the new year has begun with limited supplies, high demand and high prices. Chestnut Hill Farms’s Adriana Garcia described the impact of the holiday season: “Retailers in Europe increased their volume by 300 percent around the Christmas weeks. The volumes we sent were shipped to the different destinations in a very organized way and therefore we are starting the year with limited supply and high market prices.” Read on to learn more about the effects of 2020 on the pineapple market and our forecast for 2021.
The Impact of Rain on Costa Rica’s Pineapple Supply
Also limiting the supply of pineapple in early 2021 was Costa Rica’s weather. Garcia explained, “While the total precipitation remains stable, the rain is slowing the maturation process and therefore the volumes have been slightly lower than expected these past weeks.”
Although Costa Rica generally has a warm, tropical climate, winter’s chill has arrived full force. “We are also having cold nights and intervals of overcast skies, which is actually typical for this time of year.” With another cold front on the horizon, Chestnut Hill Farms is planning to conduct intensive field sampling to determine the effects of these climatic conditions on natural flowering.
In spite of chilly weather, we’re happy to say that our plants have continued to produce high-quality fruits. “The fruit quality continues to be very good and we are seeing an average Brix of over 14 percent on our farms,” says Garcia. Our teams test the Brix of the crop before harvesting and before sending to distributors. Careful measurement ensures the pineapples are sweet and ready to eat.
The 2020 Market and Forecasts for 2021
Despite a number of challenges faced in 2020, we saw a strong overall market throughout the year. “2020 was a very good year,” said Garcia, “and supply and demand were mostly balanced.” She continued to explain that, despite logistical challenges, overall demand remained consistent. “The demand from foodservice reduced, but the retail demand increased.”
2020 saw a 7 percent decrease in total volumes exported from Costa Rica from 2019 and a 14 percent decrease from 2018. Garcia expects to see this trend continue into 2021, noting that this will create “a very stable market.” Adding to this, retailers in both Europe and the US plan to implement marketing strategies that emphasize healthy food and grocery shopping, which were a focus of consumers during the pandemic. Offering high vitamin C content, fiber, and a number of other valuable nutrients, pineapples are a great choice for families looking to make good food choices in the upcoming year. Thoughtful strategy that showcase’s the fruit’s nutritional benefit can help drive sales in 2021.
The pandemic has also impacted transportation in the supply chain, an effect that Garcia expects will play a role in maintaining higher demand and pricing through the summer. “Trucks have been in short supply, particularly in the US and the UK, which has been causing supply chain pressure. This was mostly due to both holiday demand and Covid restrictions. The current reduced supply, in combination with the many holidays coming up, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, should keep demand and prices mostly up until the summer months,” she explains.
You can find the original interview with Adriana Garcia on the FreshPlaza website.
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