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Brooks’ Ostlund: Tropicals are the new produce frontier

Consumers are getting more exploratory in the produce department, and this is good news for Brooks Tropicals LLC, headquartered in Homestead, FL. “North American consumers are adventuresome,” said Director of Marketing Mary Ostlund. “They love a frontier. And in the produce section, tropicals are the new frontier. [This is] particularly important with everyone upping the amount of fruit and veggies they’re eating. They want to eat more of the produce they love. But they want to be tempted to love more.”

BrooksFlorida starfruit is a Brooks Tropicals product. Brooks Tropicals is a premier grower, packer and shipper of tropical produce grown in Florida and around the Caribbean. More than 4,000 acres are farmed, and the company harvests more than 70 percent of what the firm sells. Production areas are found in Florida, Belize, Brazil, Jamaica and Mexico. Commodities are also imported from countries in Central America and South America.

Brooks Tropicals is the largest grower, packer and shipper of Florida avocados.

“We grow and ship almost everywhere in the tropics,” she noted. “Florida the only area in the continental U.S. that can be considered tropical.”

Ostlund said Brooks Tropicals is currently moving SlimCado avocados, solo papayas, Florida starfruit, Uniq Fruit, Persian limes and a mix of other tropical fruits and vegetables. “Quality is excellent in both shelf life and, of course, taste,” she told The Produce News. Other commodities grown and marketed include aloe, boniato and red papayas.

The company distributes tropical to its retail and wholesale customers throughout North America with some foodservice and processors in the mix.

“To maintain the company’s reputation for quality tropical fruits and vegetables, Brooks Tropicals solidly invests in research and development,” the company’s website states. “This has been essential in producing several revolutionary achievements over the past 30 years that help bring tropical produce to the market in top condition for the enjoyment of the North American consumer.”