Pineapple Beats Avocado as Fastest-Growing Fruit in the UK
Is our collective avocado fever— complete with the attendant intergenerational strife, fake jobs, and “avocado anxiety”—on the verge of breaking? If some sales figures from UK supermarkets is to be believed, the avocado’s status as the supreme alpha of all fruits might soon be toast.
That’s because grocers say that the pineapple has supplanted the avocado as the country’s fastest-growing fruit in terms of sale. Tesco says it saw pineapple sales surge 15% last year, as Britons possess a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for fruits with a tough and inedible outer exterior. Comparatively, avocado appetite grew 10 percent over the same time period.
Speculation suggests that the range of uses for the spiky tropical fruit could be a factor. “In the last few years we have seen demand jump because of the fruit’s rising popularity as a versatile and healthy food,” Tesco pineapple buyer Morgan Jaquemet told The Guardian. “[Pineapples] could soon rival the avocado as a once niche fruit suddenly gaining mainstream popularity.” Across the pond, the pineapple has started to show up with greater frequency in curries, at barbecues, and—most controversially—on pizza.
UK customs data supports the notion that the pineapple is increasingly popular. Pineapple imports jumped from 148,000 tons in 2016 to 168,000 last year, good for a 14% rise. That growth has been largely fueled by greater production in Costa Rica, but some worry about how sustainable such a trend could be given concerns over environmental issues, labor practices, and plain old productional capacity.
“There has been a big increase in fresh pineapple exports into Europe,” Neil Murray head of processed commodities at Agribusiness Intelligence tells The Guardian. “But production is probably peaking there now, as they are getting worried about the amount of land under pineapple.”
Despite the growth, the pineapple has a long way to go before it truly takes over the avocado in terms of outright sales. UK customers bought up £175 million of avocados over the last 12 months. Pineapple revenue in that period totalled a comparatively paltry £44 million.
Still, in an age when avocado toast has forced millennials to bow out of the housing market, demand for the classic symbol of hospitality is undeniably on the upswing. Who knows if our avocado appetite will ever truly wane, but a little variety in our produce section preferences would be a welcome break from this green menace.