File photo Specialty pineapple offerings are popular with consumers, said Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce, Los Angeles.
“There has been somewhat of a trend for organic and South African baby pineapples over the last few years,” he said.
In the past, the company has offered a white-flesh pineapple but Schueller said the baby pineapples are more popular.
“Typically a pineapple is great for a whole family, but for one or two people, they might not want to buy a regular pineapple size,” he said.
“Baby pineapples are smaller and more marketable to a smaller family.”
With family sizes getting smaller, the demand for smaller portions is even more desirable, Schueller said.
The smaller pineapples are a single serving with no core, and are gaining in consumer awareness.
“There’s increased publicity, thanks to food shows and other efforts,” Schueller said.
He compares the baby pineapples’ growth in popularity to the rise of the mini watermelon trend from several years ago.
Schueller said the demand for organic pineapples is also rising.
“We continue to see a good growth rate in organics, and organic pineapples are part of that trend,” he said.
Other companies have seen an increase as well.
“Organic pineapples continue to be a rapidly growing segment for Dole,” said Bil Goldfield, communications manager for Dole Fresh Fruit, Westlake Village, Calif.
Other companies haven’t seen a huge increase.
“We are marketing organic pineapples but at this time demand is slow in this segment,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, Coral Gables, Fla.