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Demand for exotic fruits growing fast among Indians

Exotic and rare fruits like kiwi, dragon, passion, and durian saw a 96% YoY rise in demand on JD Mart

Demand for exotic fruits growing fast among Indians

Demand for exotic fruits growing fast among Indians 

The demand for exotic fruits is growing rapidly among Indians with options like durian, dragon, passion, and kiwi increasingly finding their way to their dining tables, reports the latest JD Mart Consumer Insight.

The latest trends on JD Mart, India's latest B2B platform by Just Dial, revealed that while fruits like bananas and apples remained India's most favourite, a large section of health-conscious people are increasingly opting for exotic and rare fruits like kiwi, dragon, passion, and durian.

As per the latest data, among the most consumed fruits in the country, banana, apples, grapes, and pomegranates were the top draws on JD Mart. Searches for wholesalers for banana and apples contributed to almost 40 per cent of the overall searches in the fruits and vegetables category on JD Mart. Exotic and rare fruits like kiwi, dragon, passion, and durian saw a 96 per cent YOY rise in demand on JD Mart.

Commenting on the trends, Prasun Kumar, CMO, Just Dial, said: "In the last two years we have witnessed a rapid transformational change across fruits and vegetable supply chain stakeholders. As a platform, JD Mart is trying to bring both suppliers and end consumers online for a wide range of fruits and vegetables. We have seen a 44 per cent YoY rise in searches, and it is a testament to the platform's success in consolidating this industry online. As a result, we are also seeing new and emerging trends for exotic fruits and vegetables. Largely newer fruits like Kiwi, Dragon, Passion, and Durian are seeing a rise in popularity since they have become easy to be discovered and bought."

India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, and is also a significant consumer market for these products.

The Government of India has identified this small yet significant sector and has announced plans to introduce the best quality of exotic food ingredients in India, by providing local farmers seeds and saplings of these plants. A three-year-project funded by the Government of India, will be importing original planting material of exotic varieties of apples, almonds, walnuts, grapes and date palm to promote cultivation of these varieties.

Fruity appeal

Among fruits, the ones that are imported in large quantities include Japan's Fuji apples and other varieties of green apples, red grapes, dates, berries, kiwi, different types of mandarin orange, pomelo, and several other varieties of citrus fruits. While some of these are easily suited to India's diverse climate conditions, others like Fuji apples and green apples are among the tougher ones to replace. However, Indian farmers are successfully cultivating an alternate variety of Fuji apples, in the form of Lal Ambri apples from Jammu and Kashmir. This hybrid variety is produced by cross-breeding Himachal Pradesh's Delicious Red apples with the indigenous Lal Ambri breed. The cream-white pulpy flesh of these (Lal Ambri) apples possesses a crisp, tender texture alongside a sweet-juicy flavour. Grown throughout the year, it is popular for raw consumption and jams, jellies and desserts.

Among green apples, the Granny Smith variety grown in Himachal Pradesh serves as a good alternative to the imported ones from the US. These have a grass-green peel with white dots. The crunchy and juicy flesh is deliciously tarty, and makes an excellent choice for making pies, cakes, and pastries. The country's grape production centres are Maharashtra (contributing to over 80 per cent of India's grape production) and Karnataka. These states primarily focus on table grapes and give imported varieties a run for their quality.

Sydelle Fernandes
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