U.S.: Frieda’s expects ‘best season yet’ of South African litchis

December 06 , 2017

U.S. company Frieda’s Specialty Produce has kicked off its South African-grown litchi season, with more volumes available than last year.

In a release, Frieda’s said fresh litchis had traditionally been available in spring and early summer from the Americas, so counter-seasonal availability has opened up new opportunities for retailers.

Since South African litchis were permitted entry to the U.S. in 2015, Frieda’s has distributed increasing volume and says it will have supplies through January.

The fruit is being sold in 10-pound bulk cartons and 12-ounce clamshells, which the company said reduce shrink and leakage.

The Asian demographic has traditionally been the top purchasers of litchis in the U.S. and they tend to buy in bulk, Frieda’s said. 

It added that the fruit’s popularity has grown in recent years, expanding the demand to culinary enthusiasts and millennials who are more likely to purchase the product in a clamshell, helping to reduce shrink for the retailer.

“Getting lychees this time of year is an absolute treat and they will be quickly snapped up by shoppers as an impulse buy,” Frieda’s senior account manager Alex Berkley said.

“And because they tend to be a limited-supply and hard-to-find fruit, shoppers do not mind paying a premium for them, especially during the holiday season.”

The renowned litchi has rough, bumpy skin with a juicy, grape-like flesh and one large inedible seed. Lychees feature a fragrant sweet-tart flavor profile. Frieda’s recommends displaying fresh lychees under refrigeration to extend shelf life.


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