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Aloe Vera, yuca and coconuts big growth items within tropical roots category

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-05-02  Views: 2
Core Tip: “For some tropical root crops, our distribution has grown significantly in the past few years,” says George Pitsikoulis with Canadawide.
“For some tropical root crops, our distribution has grown significantly in the past few years,” says George Pitsikoulis with Canadawide. “Some items have become more publicly known for their health benefits while others are expanding because of ethnic population increases,” he added.

Cooking shows drive growth for Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is such an example. “We started with a few boxes about five to ten years ago and now, we are shipping five pallets per week,” says Yanni Alexakis with Canadawide. “Five pallets equals 270 boxes, an exponential growth.” Aloe Vera is used for juicing and creams and the different recipes that are used in cooking shows provide inspiration to consumers.

Yuca is another tropical root variety that has increased in popularity. Previously, it was mainly consumed by people from South America, but it has become more known to the general public. Canadawide sources yuca in Costa Rica. “It’s our preferred source because of the quality and year-round availability. “There used to be production gaps, but with year-round production, supplies are very reliable,” mentioned Alexakis.

Mexico increases production
All tropical root varieties are sourced in Central America. Costa Rica, Honduras and Ecuador are important countries of supply. Lately, Mexico has become a significant grower of tropical roots as well. “Popular demand drives the production increase,” according to Pitsikoulis.

Coconuts from Ivory Coast

Coconuts are also part of Canadawide’s framework of tropical roots. “For the first time this year, we expanded our sourcing point for coconuts and brought in a container from the Ivory Coast,” shared Pitsikoulis. “Easter is a popular consumption time for coconuts and because we needed significant quantities, we decided to try a container. It worked out really well and we were very happy with the quality.” Usually, Canadawide sources its coconuts from the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, but the Ivory Coast was a great addition during the higher consumption time.

Although he doesn’t see it as the next big thing, Pitsikoulis believes that the tropical roots category has continued growth potential and will always remain part of the company’s offering.

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