In Depth

Pineapple replaces avocado as UK’s fastest selling fruit

Supermarkets say tropical fruit is UK’s new favourite with sales surging 15% in 2017

Move over avocado, 2018 is the year of the pineapple.

Supermarkets say demand for the tropical fruit is at an all time high “after a dramatic reappraisal by shoppers who increasingly view it as as an ingredient for curries, barbecues and cocktails as well as fruit salads”, says The Guardian.

Such is the demand, the pineapple has overtaken the avocado as the UK’s fastest growing fruit, according to Tesco, with sales surging nearly 15% last year.

“Pineapples have become the fruit taste of the moment and could soon rival the avocado as a once niche fruit suddenly gaining mainstream popularity,” Tesco’s fresh pineapple buyer Morgan Jaquemet told The Guardian.

“In the last few years we have seen demand jump because of the fruit’s rising popularity as a versatile and healthy food.”

The UK imported more than 168,000 tonnes of pineapples last year, up from 148,000 tonnes in 2016, an increase of almost 14%. “The vast majority came from Costa Rica, which has trebled its production of the fruit over the past 15 years,” says The Times.

“There has been a big increase in fresh pineapple exports into Europe,” said Neil Murray, head of processed commodities at Agribusiness Intelligence. “People like it and a lot of it is coming from Costa Rica, but production is probably peaking there now, as they are getting worried about the amount of land under pineapple.”

The controversial Hawaiian pizza is also staging a comeback, Tesco said, with sales of ready chopped pineapple “fingers” up 30%.

But Millennials may breathe a sigh of relief with the news the UK has not quite reached peak-avocado just yet. Britons have consumed £175m worth of avocados in the last 12 months compared with spending about £44m on pineapples.

The pineapple’s current rise is possibly better understood as a return to form.

“The first pineapple grown in England was presented to Charles II, and before long owning one was so great a status symbol that the last thing you would do is eat it,” says The Times.

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