Demand is still high but EU imports of exotic fruit fell 8% over 2009-2013 and only those of avocados and guavas/mangoes are climbing, research by Freshfel Europe shows.
In contrast, in the US, the world’s top exotic fruit importer, imports are increasing across the range.
And globally, consumption of exotics is on the rise, although more so for certain products, such as pineapple, mango and avocado.
Exotic fruit production, imports that for total fruit
The Freshfel analysis, presented earlier this month at Berlin’s Fruit Logistica, also indicates worldwide production of exotics has risen 48% in the last ten years, while that of total fruits grew 28%.
Similarly, in 2013, global imports of exotic fruit were 146% higher than in 2002, more than double the change for total fruit.
Both the US and the EU, the second biggest importer of exotic fruit, rely heavily on Costa Rica for their imports, particularly for pineapple.
Exoctic fruit consumption
In the EU, exotic fruit (mainly pineapple) accounted for about 5% of all fruit consumption in 2012, compared to 9% in the US (mainly pineapple and avocados).
Freshfel noted a trend towards increased avocado consumption in north and western Europe, while in middle and eastern Europe there’s more consumption of other exotic fruits, such as tamarinds, jackfruit and lychee.
EU imports in exotics from non-EU countries
Freshfel’s overview of the EU market also showed the main sources of EU exotic fruit imports in 2013:
Pineapples: 83% from Costa Rica
Guavas, Mangoes and Mangosteens: 61% from Brazil and Peru
Avocados: 40% come from Peru
Papaya: 81% from Brazil
Persimmons: 86% from Israel and South-Africa
See the Freshfel presentation
“Exotic fruit – a highlight at POS
Consumption and Trends”