My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why JP Tropical Foods Pineapples will be a hit in Jamaica this Christmas

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why JP Tropical Foods Pineapples will be a hit in Jamaica this Christmas

“We had done some sales to supermarkets last year, but we were less consistent with our supplies, so we didn't make a lot of noise about it. But we are getting to the point where pour volumes require us to pursue more retail and wholesale business”

JP Food Distributors General Manager Neil Crum-Ewing commenting on Pineapple sales in Jamaica General Manager, at Jamaica Producers Group

Pineapples are going to be big this Christmas, if the numbers from Jamaica Producers Group are real.

This as they’re selling more pineapples in grocery stores than ever before since July 2015 as reported in the article “JP Tropical Taps Grocery Channels To Boost Pineapple Sales”, published June 17, 2015 by Tameka Gordon, The Jamaica Gleaner

This is mainly thanks to JP Tropical Foods, a division of Jamaica Producers Group breaking the cycle of the fruit only being available between April and June by simply growing more of the fruit. Within the next three (3) years, they’ll be able to supply fresh pineapples all year round.

They had double the acres of land dedicated to pineapple production, so they have more of the exotic fruit to go around to quote JP Food Distributors General Manager Neil Crum-Ewing: “While this market channel has been one of the largest purchasers of JP pineapples since we started the pineapple project, we have tremendous growth opportunity as we execute our plan to make pineapples more available year round”.

This is an amazing feat, considering the fact that pineapples take 14 months to grow to full maturity. JP Tropical Foods supplies of the fruit have increased by 50% and they control about 60% of the Grocery market, expanding from hotels who use it to supply pina coladas and cooking food for tourists and downtown market sellers who also sell if along with bananas for retail.

To be honest, I mainly see it being sold by street side vendors in sliced form in Cross Roads, with the whole fruit being available downtown. But the grocery market appears to be maturing, despite not being so pervasive in such place as Hi-Lo and Empire supermarket in Cross Roads where I shop.

So why am I predicting that pineapples will be a hit this Christmas?

JP Tropical Foods ramp up Pineapple production in July 2015 - Why Pineapples will be a hit in Jamaica this Christmas

Pineapple is often eaten freshly sliced or as a juice in Jamaica as noted in the article “PINING for the flavor”, published July 31 2010, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It's also gaining traction as an alternative for marmalades, jam, jellies or candies and its good for making natural candies and sweet-and-sour meat dishes. 

It also boasts some health benefits, being a source of Vitamin C, manganese and calcium for strong bones. It also contains a protein digesting enzyme mixture called bromelain that encourages natural anti-inflammatory by basically eating bacteria and yes, your own dead body proteins.

Aside from garlic, it’s a great way to clear mucus during a cold. But don't let it sit in your mouth for too long; it might start dissolving your tongue! There are four different varieties of pineapple in Jamaica:

1.      Cowboy
2.      Ripley
3.      Sugar Loaf
4.      MD2

The MD2 was introduced to Jamaica in 2009 and globally is the most popular variety, with 90% of world demand being gobbled up by twelve (12) countries:

1.      USA
2.      France
3.      Japan
4.      Belgium
5.      Italy
6.      Germany
7.      Canada
8.      Spain
9.      England
10.  Korea
11.  Netherlands
12.  Singapore

They prefer it canned rather than fresh with most of the world’s pineapples being supplied by the Philippines and Thailand, with Indonesia being the concentrated juice specials supplying 70% of demand. Jamaica is no different, as we're catching on to the idea of convenience.

Being as Sorrel will be short this Christmas as predicted in my blog article entitled “Why Great Jamaica Sorrel Shortage of 2015 caused by increasing yearly demand - How Turner Innovations Sorrel picking machine might save Christmas 2015”, many people might be encouraged to switch to Pineapple now that JP Tropical Foods is on the case.

Especially if JP Tropical Foods start to sell it as a canned either in cans or conveniently packaged like sliced sweet potatoes in vacuum sealed bags as noted in my blog article entitled “JP Farms harvests first Sweet Potatoe Crop – How Potatoe chips and Potatoe Beer may be coming in 2016”. 

Pineapple might replace sorrel and also become a fruit salad dish, baked into cakes, garnish ham and chicken and even be fermented into wine! Let's hope that JP Tropical Foods can ramp up production in the next three (3) years to keep up with the year round demand or the fruit and the juice concentrate as Jamaicans love sweetness!

Here’s the link:

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