Processed Foods to Earn More

Betting on food that involves an industrial process, focusing on markets that are not saturated and on the trends that predominate among consumers are some of the strategies that could multiply the income of agricultural producers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It is estimated that the sale of dried pineapple reaches a value on the international market of 1,600% higher than the price achieved by selling it fresh. In the case of dried mango, the difference amounts to 1.512%.

According to forecasts by the Promotora del Comercio Exterior (Procomer), bananas produced in Costa Rica sold as chips could increase their price by 944% compared to if they are sold fresh, and in the case of cassava converted into flour, their value increases by 40% compared to the product that does not incorporate any industrial process.

In the current commercial reality, consumers have changed their behavior and now think about every purchase they make, because they try to get information before demanding food.

See "Food and Beverage: Trends in Central America"

Pamela Arias, director of operations of the company Agroindustrial Montana Azul, told that "... the Costa Rican exporter must be ready to meet a changing world full of tastes and preferences."

According to Arias there are many market opportunities and these can be taken advantage of with products that are unique because of their labeling, nutrients and certifications, and even because of their manufacturing history.

Before investing, you must make sure there is space in the market, because there are some types of food whose demand is minimal.

Also see "Frozen Fruit: Export Price Still Down"

Abel Chaves, president of the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (Canapep), explained that "... there is a notable increase in income if dried or dehydrated fruit is sold. The problem is that the market is very small, because in 2019 only 530 tons were exported, compared to a placement of almost 2.15 million tons of fresh fruit."

For Chaves it is important to look first for the markets before investing, since at present nobody sows pineapple to produce processed food or by-products, it is only done to sell the fresh product.

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More on this topic

Fresh Pineapple: Opportunities in China

May 2020

Because the Asian giant is the world's largest buyer of fresh fruit and people are willing to consume new and tropical foods, the region's pineapple producers have the opportunity to increase their business with the Chinese market.

According to a study conducted by the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer), China remains one of the largest producers of fruit in the world, but quality remains a problem, so they are interested in imported fruit, added to consumers looking for better quality products as part of the search for a healthier lifestyle.

Pineapple: Why did Exports Fall in 2019?

March 2020

The drop in international prices and the climate difficulties were the main reasons for the 5% reduction in the value exported from Costa Rica last year compared to 2018.

Data from the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (Procomer) show that between 2018 and 2019, exports of the fruit decreased from $983 million to $930 million, which is equivalent to a negative variation of 5%.

Pineapple Production and its Challenges

July 2019

At the beginning of 2019 there were 44,500 hectares dedicated to fruit cultivation in Costa Rica, however, because of high production costs and a drop in international prices, by 2021 the cultivated area could fall to 38,000 hectares.

Directors of the National Chamber of Pineapple Producers and Exporters (Canapep) explained that the fall in the price of pineapple internationally is because of increased competition, since countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, have managed to gain market share in the U.S. and Europe.

Panama's Pineapple Potential

February 2012

The main Canadian fresh fruit processor has found good opportunities for expanding its network of suppliers of pineapple with producers from Chiriqui and La Chorrera.

With advice and planning from’s Business Network, a trade mission composed of the chief executives from the company with plants in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles, visited the principal pineapple producing establishments in Panama, with the aim of increasing its number of suppliers, which are now exclusively from Costa Rica.

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