A lack of rain will translate to smaller sizes on the Nayarit crop, Ciruli said.
The gold variety continues to drive sales, and more marketers are offering their own version, with Dublin-based Fyffes Inc. offering its Fyffestar this year, to compete against Dole’s Premium Select and the Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet. Others companies, including Dallas-based Maui Pineapple Co. Ltd. and Newark, N.J.-based Ekostar Inc., have gold pineapples.
John Loughridge, Del Monte’s vice president of marketing, said the Gold Extra Sweet pineapple has helped lift consumer demand by more than 72% in three years. Over the next 18 months, Del Monte expects to double capacity of fresh-cut pineapples, he said.
“For the retailer, it normally has a ring anywhere from 25% to 100% more than traditional pineapples,” Loughridge said.
Dole’s Maitles said the company’s Premium Select has helped both whole and fresh-cut categories for pineapples.
“It’s obvious the sweeter pineapples have generated interest among consumers,” Maitles said.