The popularity of the mighty avocado could be waning in the UK, as supermarket figures suggest that pineapples are increasing in popularity.
According to UK retailers, demand for avocados reached an all-time peak in 2017, with people in the UK using them to make everything from curries and barbecues to cocktails.
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British supermarket giant Tesco saw a boost in pineapple sales by 15% in 2017, while demand for avocados only grew by 10%.
“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.
Figures show the UK imported over 168,000 tonnes of pineapples in 2017, an increase of almost 14% compared to the previous year.
Costa Rica, which is the UK’s biggest exporter of pineapples, has trebled its production of the fruit in the past 15 years, triggering concerns about its possible environmental consequences.
Head of processed commodities at Agribusiness Intelligence, Neil Murray told the Guardian:
There has been a big increase in fresh pineapple exports into Europe. 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.
According to Tesco, demand for pineapple flavours gained popularity across the board, with juice sales growing by more than a fifth and interest in tinned pineapple rose by 5%.
Tesco said that Hawaiian pizza is also regaining popularity, as sales of ready-chopped pineapple slices increased by 30%.
Yet, despite the evident shift in trend, it is still too early to take the crown off avocado, as figures show that Tesco shoppers bought £175 million worth of avocados and only £44 million worth of pineapples in the past year.
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The avocado has dominated British fruit sales for the past few years.
Its reputation as a healthy and tasty food to be included in diets as well as brunch dishes made it consumers’ and restaurants’ favourite for a long time.
But whether people prefer avocados over pineapples, the demand for fruit overeall is up 5% to £5.6 billion in the UK in the year ending in February, according to Kantar Worldpanel.