As of 2016, 26.4 million metric tons of pineapple reached the global market. This represented an average growth of 3.3% per year over the last nine years. According to IndexBox, a rise in urban living standards and healthy eating campaigns in Asia and Latin America is responsible for driving increasing demand for fresh fruit, particularly pineapple, in both locations.
Asia, Latin America Drive Global Pineapple Market
Forbes’ Marianna Cerini reports China is becoming the world’s largest market for natural and healthy eating, with a market poised to reach $70 billion by 2020. A combination of rising incomes, increased population age, stress associated with urbanization, and concern surrounding the country’s food quality and safety has led more and more individuals to invest in healthy eating and fresh produce. When 73% of Chinese consumers responded they were willing to pay more for healthier products (12 points higher than the global average) the Boston Consulting Group lauded Chinese consumers as “the world’s most health conscious.”
Unsurprisingly, China leads the Asian market’s demand for pineapple, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. This regional interest is displayed even on fast food menus—McDonalds China recently introduced a pineapple burger and pineapple shake, and a pineapple pie rolled out at restaurants in Malaysia.
Though Asia and Latin America may hold the keys to future growth, two African countries top the charts in terms of rising consumption. From 2007 to 2016, Ghana and Angola experienced a 38.4% and 28.3% annual growth rate of consumption, respectively. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were not far behind at 23.4% and 22.0% growth. Costa Ricans recorded an incredible per capita consumption rate of 242 kg/year compared to the global average of 3.6kg/year (the number makes more sense when you remember Costa Rica is the world’s largest pineapple producer).
The United States remains the largest market for imports. 34% of global imports find their way to the USA, where according to The Packer’s 2018 Fresh Trends, 42% of consumers purchased pineapple in the past 12 months. Interestingly, Fresh Trends also reports that the likelihood of a pineapple purchase increased relative to income for the 10th straight year in 2018 (this sheds some light on the correlation between rising middle class incomes and pineapple demand in Asia and Latin America). Netherlands, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy round out the top of the list, each importing between 4% and 8% of the global import share. These top six countries accounted for over two-thirds of worldwide pineapple imports.
Already the leading production region, the first quarter of 2018 revealed an 18% increase in Central American exports of the tropical fruit. Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama led the way totaling $260 million in export sales during this time.
Advances in packaging technology have been cited as key to the growth of the global pineapple market, especially since transit times from producers like Panama to consumers like Dubai are known to take 40 days. One recent improvement was EcoPack Systems’ EcoPack Pineapple Crate, which provides a fully recyclable design geared towards optimizing ventilation, food safety, and waste reduction while improving container utilization by 14%.
Moderate growth is anticipated to continue into the future. IndexBox anticipates a compound annual growth rate of 2.9% through 2025, which would increase the global pineapple market to 34.2 million tonnes.