This tropical fruit has a small but steady following. The likelihood of a papaya purchase remained the same as in Fresh Trends 2012, with 12% of shoppers picking up papaya in the past year.

For the fifth straight year, the likelihood of purchase increased according to income. In fact, shoppers in the two lowest income groups were half as likely to buy papayas as those in the top income group who earned more than $100,000 annually.

PapayasAs was the case last year, younger shoppers are more comfortable with papayas. Consumers age 21-29 were some of the most likely to buy papayas overall, and they were more than three times more likely to buy the fruit than those age 50-58 – the age group least likely to buy.

The presence of children also had a notable effect on papaya purchases. Shoppers with kids were more likely to buy the tropical fruit than those without kids.

Shoppers still seem to have some uncertainty when it comes to ripe papayas. Only 22% said they felt comfortable selecting ripe fruit for immediate consumption, and only 15% admitted to knowing how to ripen a papaya after they got it home.

More shoppers are looking for organic papayas. Twelve percent of papaya buyers said they purchased only organic fruit, a number up two percentage points from last year. And 38% of papaya buyers said they selected organic fruit at least some of the time, a number up seven percentage points from last year.