Fresh-cut and value-added pineapple offerings continue to gain popularity with consumers.
Del Monte’s line of fresh-cut pineapple products includes cylinders, spears and chunks, including a pouch offering.
“We provide value-added services to accommodate to all of our customers’ needs. Our fresh-cut program also accommodates customer needs by providing different sizes, pineapple cuts and packaging options,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral Gables, Fla.
“Both our pineapple spears and cylinder pouches have been very successful as more consumers seek healthy alternatives for their home and on-the-go snacking.”
Pablo Jimenez, marketing manager for Mexican Pineapple Exporters Association (AMEP), agreed.
“I would say the challenge now relies in offering precut pineapple in the market as consumers are going for that presentation because of the time it represents with peeling and cutting pineapples.
“People are finding less and less time to prepare food, even their breakfast. Sometimes they just go to a convenience store and buy yogurt, some cereal bars and fruit that is pre-cut. We need to be in that market too,” he said.
Bill Sheridan, executive vice president of sales for Banacol Marketing Corp., Coral Gables, said fresh-cut is important.
“We’ve tried to educate consumers on how they can cut their own pineapples at home, but there’s still an intimidation factor. There’s tremendous value in providing cut pineapple offerings to the consumer in different ways,” he said.
Suppliers also say the value-added category has grown as consumers have a higher interest in products that are more convenient, even though educational efforts have been at least partly successful in teaching consumers how to slice their own pineapples.
“The category is growing as far as the cut and prepared product offerings,” Sheridan said.