- Fresh Del Monte profits soared as the produce giant sees a growing appetite for its premium-priced pineapple innovations, executives said in a second quarter earnings call earlier this month.
- Demand is outpacing supply for the company’s Pinkglow pineapples, which have been bioengineered to have a rosy interior. Sales for the pink fruit have more than doubled over last year.
- The company also reported strong demand for its Honeyglow pineapples, known for their golden color and extra sweet taste. Overall, gross profit in the second quarter climbed 26% from last year to $62 million.
Fresh Del Monte has doubled down on agricultural innovations as it looks to keep up with consumer trends and more sustainably grow its produce.
The pink pineapples, under development for 16 years, are grown in Costa Rica and modified so that it produces more lycopene, the enzyme that creates the reddish hue in watermelons and tomatoes.
“Both Pinkglow and Honeyglow are Fresh Del Monte’s innovations, and their market acceptance and interest show how crucial innovation is in the pineapple category,” Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer, said on the earnings call. “As everybody knows, we are leaders in this space, and our successful innovations are paying off.”
Fresh Del Monte in December announced a carbon neutral pineapple, made possible through investments in its transportation fleet and a program that sources from farms using sustainable practices.
In the future, Fresh Del Monte plans to expand innovations from pineapples to avocados as produce becomes more vulnerable to extreme weather and climate change. The company reported a rebound in avocado sales volume in the second quarter after consumer prices came down from record peaks last year.
A team of scientists and researchers are working to improve yields through innovations in farming, Abu-Ghazaleh said. Fresh Del Monte is also investing in drones and smart farming data technologies as it looks to “move towards a circular economy on our farms.”
“In recent months, we have all witnessed record heat and changing weather patterns,” Abu-Ghazaleh said. “We have embarked on an all-out effort to find solutions for some of these challenges as part of our continuous focus on our Del Monte brand commitment of quality, freshness and reliability.