DEL MONTE Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) reported an increase in its fresh pineapple export revenues to P5.85 billion in April this year due to a higher market share in China.

The company said its fresh pineapple export revenues for April 2021 is 37% higher than the P4.2-billion worth of revenues it had in April 2019.

“With an import volume of 182 million kilograms last year, China is DMPI’s primary driver of growth in the North Asian markets, and China’s import of fresh pineapples grew at a compounded average growth rate of 18% from 2015 to 2020,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

DMPI said that based on a report by analytics and consulting firm GlobalData, the company is the largest fresh pineapple exporter to China, taking up 53% of its market in 2020, while also being among the top three fresh pineapple suppliers in Japan and South Korea, taking up 33% and 21% market shares, respectively.

According to DMPI, the MD2 variety is the preferred pineapple in the fresh market due to its longer shelf life, lower acidity, and better appearance. It disclosed that MD2 currently accounts for 28% of its 26,000-hectare plantation.

“DMPI’s fresh pineapple exports are a significant part of its branded business. Its MD2 variety is sold primarily under the S&W Sweet 16 brand in China, Japan and South Korea. Chinese consumers prefer trusted brands such as S&W which consumers are willing to pay a premium for,” Goodfarmer Foods Holding Group Co., Ltd. owner Liu Zhijie said.

Goodfarmer Foods is DMPI’s key distributor in China and is one of the leading fresh produce distribution firms.

Meanwhile, DMPI seeks to capitalize on China’s high demand as it plans to add new distributors that will cater to retail outlets in cities across the country.

“The company aims to double by 2025 its fresh pineapple retail distribution network that currently has about 15,000 outlets,” DMPI said.

Moving forward, DMPI said its plans to increase its hectarage for MD2 pineapples, improve its operational efficiency, and bolster its business partnerships to widen its branded business in order to remain competitive in the market.

“DMPI is one of the three largest exporters of MD2 pineapple in Asia given the convergence of natural conditions that are uniquely abundant in the Philippines, complemented by extensive human and technological resources, and an enterprising commercial acumen and business leadership which have enabled DMPI to deliver premium quality pineapples through its business partners,” the company said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave