Anticipating a smoother season bringing in South American fruit

From Fresh Plaza | 26 December 2022

Overview of South American fruit in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 23, 2022. 

Fruit importers are preparing to bring in Chilean fruit in early 2023, adding to the Peruvian fruit already arriving. The Giumarra Companies will begin shipping imported Chilean grapes in January, alongside its Peruvian grapes, which are currently shipping. Giumarra expects steady, increased volumes as February approaches; the company’s Chilean grape supplies should continue through April and into May.

“Last year’s imported grape season was mostly delayed due to port issues causing industry shortfalls within the supply chain. This year, we don’t anticipate having those constraints. Things began to streamline this year, abating concerns with inventory flow. We are expecting much more consistent supplies compared to last year,” says Kellee Harris, Regional Business Development Director with the Giumarra Companies.

Fruits from Chile in the US Market | Volumes (KG)


Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

With this, Giumarra is already shipping Peruvian green seedless and red seedless grapes. “Currently demand is steady for fresh grapes. We’re receiving consistent shipments from Peru and the fruit is very good,” says Harris. Giumarra is shipping Arra 15 (Sweeties™) proprietary green seedless grapes, as well as Sweet Globe green seedless, Flame Seedless, Crimsons, as well as Allison, Jacks Salute, Timco and other newer varieties that are ready to harvest shortly.

Fair Trade growers

New this season, Giumarra has Fair Trade Certified grapes from both Peru and Chile. This will expand what the company already offers with its Fair Trade Certified Mexican grape grower, Videxport.

With Giumarra’s vast experience working with certified Fair Trade growers, Harris says this new opportunity is very meaningful for retailers looking for more sustainable business practices.

“Offering additional Fair Trade Certified grapes from both Peru and Chile helps us support retailers as they strive to meet their sustainability goals, because the Fair Trade USA certification process encompasses not only worker welfare and empowerment, but also sustainable production,” says Harris.

Getting to know lemon plums

For this coming season, the specialty crop of Lemon Plums will begin harvest from Chile in early January. “Growers will begin shipping fruit the third week of January and we expect first arrivals the first week of February, which is normal. Lemon Plums are very unique, very delicious and have limited supplies. Peak promotional times are expected around February 13-25, with supplies wrapping up by the first week in March,” says Harris.

Consumer education around this specialty item continues via retailer merchandising and through associations such as The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. The Lemon Plum which is grown in Chile during this time of year refers to the color and shape, not the flavor. The fruit is heart shaped and turns a deep rich red color when ripe, making it an excellent Valentine’s promotion opportunity, says Harris.

Consumers are learning how to enjoy them at peak flavor, “Ripe When Red.” Therefore, countertop ripening is encouraged so consumers can watch as the fruit turns from yellow to red. That’s when the best eating experience for Lemon Plums occurs. As for demand for Lemon Plums this season, Giumarra anticipates a very strong season.

Alongside Lemon Plums, Giumarra will also import white and yellow nectarines, and yellow and white peaches, starting the first weeks in January. “We bring in a full range of sizes. There is various demand for both peaches and nectarines in January so we will offer both two-layer and volume-fill opportunities,” adds Harris.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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