Product accounts for 98% of Brazilian shipments of fresh citrus fruits. Sales grew at retail, a movement driven by the pandemic.
Disclosure / Andrade Sun Farms [/ caption]
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, foods rich in vitamin C are increasingly in demand. Among these potential health allies, there is a sorrel grown in Brazil, the tahiti lemon. “We noticed a trend in the consumption of citrus fruits. I imagine that people, when informing themselves, looked for ways to make this improvement in health and, in a way, impacted the consumption of citrus fruits. Tahiti lemon has a high vitamin C value and is already used for health purposes. But there is another interesting feature: it is low in calories, ”said the director of the fruit producer Andrade Sun Farms < / a>, Aline Andrade.
The fruit represents 98% of Brazilian citrus shipments abroad, according to data from the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics at the Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture at the University of São Paulo (Cepea-Esalq / USP). Although Brazil is a major producer of oranges, most of the product is aimed at the juice industry, which allows the Tahiti lemon to easily lead the country’s exports of fresh citrus fruits.
Despite the growing demand for variety in retail, market fluctuations make it difficult to assess the exact reason for the increase. “We realized that there was an increase, but we were unable to identify when it was, because there was consumption migration. In certain weeks, 20% to 30% more were sold [at retail] ”, explained Andrade on how the movement of consumption grew in certain periods and then dropped.
This migration occurred because of the closure of restaurants and bars around the globe. The solution was to redirect sales to supermarkets and retail in general. According to the Brazilian Association of Exporting Producers of Fruits and Derivatives ( Abrafrutas ), the sector as a whole registered an increase in consumption in House.
Tahiti lemon is now the third product on the list of Brazilian fruit exports. “In general, in the world, the demand for citrus fruits has increased. There has been more interest in oranges, but Tahiti lemon has been regularly exported. It has therapeutic properties, anti-inflammatory effect. It is a product that those who are adept at preventive medicine like because it has excellent therapeutic properties. We need to break a consumption paradigm ”, pointed out the project manager at Abrafrutas, Jorge Souza, about the still rare consumption of this variety in Middle Eastern markets.
The obstacle shows signs of being overcome. According to Cepea, the fruit hit a record for exports in 2019. “It is a market that is growing. Thinking about the São Paulo market, Brazil’s main producer, with 70% of production, we see a scenario of investment growth in lemon planting in recent years ”, explains the citrus researcher at