C.H. Robinson grows its tropicals category

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Eden Prairie, Minn., expects to market about 10% to 15% more pineapples this year compared to last year, said Chris Harris, director of sourcing category development.

Its tropicals category has been increasing during the past few years, and it is a more significant part of the company’s business, he said.

The company markets pineapples under the Rosemont Farms and Tropicana Tropicals brand names.

Del Monte expects similar volumes

Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., expects a volume of pineapples similar to last year’s, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.

All Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapples for North American and European markets are grown in Costa Rica.

Del Monte’s fresh-cut pineapple line continues to expand to meet growing consumer demand, Christou said.

It offers a variety of fresh-cut pineapple products, including chunks, cylinders, rings, slices, spears and wedges.

Del Monte Fresh entered a new sponsorship agreement with the Miami Heat NBA basketball team that makes Del Monte the “Official Fresh Fruit of the Miami Heat” for the next three years.

Dole’s Fair Trade, organic business grows

Organic and Fair Trade pineapples represent growing market segments for the company, said Bil Goldfield, communications manager, Dole Fresh Fruit Co., Westlake Village, Calif.

Dole sources both from Costa Rica.

In November, Dole announced an equity investment in Cleveland, Ohio-based Healthy Foods LLC, which makes the Yonanas-brand frozen dessert machine. The machine makes creamy frozen treats from frozen fruit.

Dole will promote the machine throughout the year, Goldfield said.

Frontera tracks product with HarvestMark tags

The HarvestMark consumer tags on Frontera Produce Ltd.’s Veracruz, Mexico-grown pineapples have a lot of potential, said Javier Gonzalez, vice president of ethnics/tropicals for the Edinburg, Texas-based company.

Each pineapple has a tag with a quick response (QR) code that consumers can scan to access company information, photos, recipes and tips.

Gonzalez said Frontera is eager to see how successful the tags are.

Kingston Marketing seeks to expand

Kingston Marketing Associates LLC, the marketing arm of Idaho Falls, Idaho-based Kingston Cos., plans to grow imports of the hybrid pineapple MD2 from Costa Rica by 30% in 2012.

“Supplies during the March to June period will be timely for promotions with production and quality at its peak,” said Ken Nabal, president.

Turbana sourcing from Colombia

Coral Gables, Fla.-based Turbana Corp., this year started shipping Colombia-grown pineapples, said Alan Dolezal, vice president of sales.

The Colombian fruit supplements Turbana’s supplies from Costa Rica and Panama. About 99% of Turbana’s bananas are grown in Colombia.

Turbana, in partnership with Dublin, Ireland-based Fyffes, this year plans to ship a larger volume of pineapples to the West Coast. Fyffes is a part-owner of Turbana.