Demand for fresh specialty produce at retail is strong, for a number of reasons.

Start with variety and selection. Consumers are increasingly seeking out a diverse range of produce options, and stores that offer a wide variety of specialty produce are attracting more shoppers, said Alex Jackson, vice president of sales and procurement for Frieda’s Specialty Produce.

Health and wellness is another top reason. With growing awareness of the importance of a healthy diet, consumers are turning to fresh fruits and vegetables as staples of their meals.

Specialty produce, such as dragon fruit and passion fruit, offers not only unique flavors but also a host of nutritional benefits, Jackson said.

Ready-to-drink fresh coconut

New from Frieda’s this summer is Hulas ready-to-drink coconut, which offers consumers a convenient and refreshing way to enjoy the tropical taste of coconut.

Hulas’ vibrant orange packaging and easy-to-enjoy format should be a hit with consumers, Jackson said.

Specialty produce is evolving with the times, and Frieda’s, Jackson said, is staying ahead of the curve with a focus on meeting consumer demand for the latest trending foods and flavors.

Top among those trends is all things spicy.

With tropical flavors like dragonfruit and passionfruit, incorporating a spicy element creates a unique and exciting flavor combination, Jackson said.

Convenience is another trend Frieda’s is tracking closely.

One way the company is addressing it, Jackson said, is with innovative packaging solutions, like a 3-pack option for passionfruit, which is not only convenient but also educates consumers on how to use the product and features QR codes linking to recipes.

“By boldly displaying preparation instructions and creative ways to enjoy the produce, Frieda’s makes it effortless for shoppers to try something new and exciting.”

This article is an excerpt from the June 2024 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Specialty Produce feature and more in the digital edition here.