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WP Produce’s Desbry brand drives tropical fruit sales

As the United States population continues to diversify, so do consumers’ palates. With this diversification comes an increased curiosity for tropical fruits and vegetables. As with most other categories or industries, the higher quality product, the more interest people have in it.

Boniato-DesbryDesbry branded boniatos. Desiree Morales, vice president of WP Produce Corp., based in Miami, said that the tropical produce imported by the company with its branded name, Desbry, has the highest quality specifications in the industry. She said consumer demand for the Desbry brand remains on the rise, but there are always ways to help increase sales.

To improve sales of tropicals on the retail level, Morales believes the consumer needs to be better schooled on when the best time to eat certain varieties is. “Recipes would be very useful as well,” she said. “A lot of times people just don’t know how to eat tropical produce. Although tropical produce has been increasing in demand and volume, there is still a lot of education that needs to be given. And many benefits are still waiting to be discovered.”

WP Produce’s tropical line-up includes Haitian mangos, Florida lychees, Florida guava, Florida mamey, Dominican Kiwano Melons and Spanish limes (Mamoncillos). 

“WP has been successful over the years because of our quality and because our customers are our top priority,” Morales said. “We pride themselves on delivering the best quality produce available on a constant basis.” 

One item that shows promise is Haitian mangos, and the company is working on extending the season with different varieties available in Haiti. In fact, WP Produce will have representatives at the Mango festival this year in Fairchild Gardens, educating the public on the benefits of Haitian mangos. 

“The Haitian mango will be starting up mid-April and will go through the end of July,” Morales said. “The Haitian mango is probably the juiciest mango of all. The variety we handle is the Francine variety.”

Like most the rest of Florida, the recent weather issues have caused issues for some of the tropical crops.

“This year a few of the tropical produce items coming out of Florida will have a significant decrease in volume,” Morales said. “Hurricane Irma affected most of the farms and although there will be quality produce available, it will be about a 50 percent decrease when comparing to previous years.”

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