Some of those claims need to be proven in specific testing in order to maximize their marketing benefits, he said.
Some tropical fruits have more financial backing than others, which is another factor, said Michael Warren, chief executive officer of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce.
“Different organizations like the mango board take advantage of all that,” he said.
Warren said his company tries to educate its customers about the benefits of pineapples and papayas.
Jessie Capote, vice president/owner of Miami-based J&C Tropicals, agrees.
“I don’t think it’s been exploited as much,” he said.
He also said any claims must have solid backing.
“I have a legal background, and, from my standpoint, whenever you start making some type of connections, you better have the due diligence to back it up because it could backfire,” he said.
Marketers are taking notice and are “adding abstract nutritional claims to just about everything” on the shelves, said Tristan Simpson, marketing and corporate communications director at Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods Inc.
“Consumers already know these fruits contain essential vitamins, antioxidants and enzymes that keep our bodies happy and healthy,” she said.
A bit of inventiveness can work “superfood” properties into everyday meals, said Michael Castagnetto, strategic category manager with Eden Prairie, Minn.-based C.H. Robinson Worldwide.
“C.H. Robinson promotes the green goodness of avocados as a butter replacement and encourages them to be incorporated in some non-traditional recipes like adding to a smoothie or as a topping on a pizza,” he said.