Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) has grown to become Asia’s leading pineapple exporter with a dominant market share in China and as top three supplier in Japan and Korea.
GlobalData, an analytics and consulting company, reported that DMPI is the largest fresh pineapple exporter to China, accounting for 53 percent of the market in 2020. DMPI is also among the top three fresh pineapple suppliers in Japan, its second-biggest market, and South Korea, where DMPI has 33 percent and 21 percent market shares, respectively.
According to DMPI, its export has been largely due to its ability to deliver premium quality year-round and its preferred pineapple variety MD2.
“Today 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,” said the company in a statement.
The strong export performance has enabled DMPI’s fresh pineapple exports to grow revenues by 37 percent, from P4.2 billion in April 2019 to P5.85 billion ($119.9 million) in April 2021. There is plenty of headroom for growth as the value of fresh pineapple imports into China is expected to grow at 9 percent per year between 2021 and 2026 according to GlobalData.
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.
The Philippines, in particular Mindanao, is part of the global “pineapple belt,” the same latitude that includes Hawaii, where MD2 was first developed, and Costa Rica, where the fruit was further propagated on a large scale. Such geographies possess the stringent requirements of soil, elevation and climate which are optimal for growing MD2 all year-round.