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Campofresco Fresh Pineapple Hits The Big Apple


June 21, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Procesadora Campofresco Inc. has just delivered its first container of fresh pineapple to be sold in New York. Campofresco President Julio F. Mendez anticipates the 20-tons a week contract will yield $1 million in sales the first year.

New York Produce Co., a fruit and vegetable distributor, will sell Lotus pineapple to supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants.

Mendez said each pineapple will bare a sticker identifying the fruit as a Red Spanish variety pineapple grown in Puerto Rico. He is promoting the local fruit as the sweetest natural, or heirloom pineapple in the world. Mendez explained there is a worldwide movement to reject genetically engineered foods in favor of natural, or heirloom, produce. Natural fruits command a better price. He added that the local fruit is sweeter than another popular laboratory designed pineapple developed in Costa Rica.

Mendez said the fresh fruit contract fulfills one of his goals since purchasing Lotus pineapple canning plant from the local government in 1995. The fruit is grown mostly in the Barceloneta, Manati area.

In other news, a new coconut cream product, Coco Lotus, has just been launched by Campofresco. Mendez has joined forces with Bacardi Corp. to package a bottle of white Bacardi rum, a Coco Lotus can, and a Lotus pineapple juice can--all the ingredients needed to make the popular piña colada drink.

"We will launch this package in two months in Puerto Rico’s duty free shops and after that, we will market them in stateside and European duty free shops," Mendez said. The alliance with Bacardi helps promote two Puerto Rican products, Lotus and Bacardi rum.

Procesadora Campofresco currently produces 170 products, mostly juices, in a 200,000- square-foot plant in Santa Isabel with 12 production lines. The company employs 250 people in the plant and an equal number of field workers. Mendez said the company’s Ciclon energy drink launched in December is already No. 1 in its category.

"So far, this has been our best year, yet. We project $60 million in sales whereas originally we thought we’d have only $54 million. Last year we had slightly over $50 million in sales," Mendez said.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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