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Dole launches new Exotics business unit

The world’s biggest fruit and vegetable company presented Dole Exotics and the BE Exotic brand at Fruit Logistica

Dole, global leader in fresh produce, aims to increase sales of avocados, mangos and other exotic fruit thanks to the creation of the new Dole Exotics division and the new BE Exotic brand.

The official presentation took place at the most recent edition of Fruit Logistica, which has just concluded. The Dole brand already included exotic fresh fruit but the decision to create a dedicated business unit reflects Dole’s wish to replicate the success of its more traditional tropical products. It also emphasises the business approach adopted by the exotic division of Irish multinational Total Produce, which merged with Dole last year.

“Our ambition is to raise the bar in the exotics category”, commented Tobias Deil, category director for avocado and mango in Dole EMEA. “We believe we are uniquely positioned to do so given the quality of our existing production and our commitment to invest in more, the experience of our global specialists in exotic fruits, the technical expertise they bring and our infrastructure.”

Exotic fruit and vegetables are already an important part of Dole’s business in Europe, Deil observed. “Our operations, centred around our state-of-the-art ripening and sorting hub in the Netherlands, but extending right across Europe, differentiates not only our exotics range but also the bespoke services we can offer,” he said.

“Bringing together our group resources will enable us to consistently deliver exceptional produce, ripened to perfection, presented in best-in-class packaging and creatively promoted to engage, empower and inspire consumers.”

BE Exotic avocados and mangos

This explains the decision to launch the new Be Exotic brand which, as Tobias Deil points out, “will speak to the consumer in a contemporary, innovative way. Our packaging will deliver striking on-shelf impact while, in promoting the brand, we will be encouraging consumers to embrace their inner adventurous selves by trying something new.”

BE Exotic is an individual brand but one very much connected with the identity of Dole, who need no introduction. According to Deil, “It is a compelling combination which we believe will resonate with consumers in markets right across Europe.” From an organisational perspective, the Dole Exotics division will incorporate pre-existing European business Total Exotics.

Untapped potential

Dole has long been aware of the unfulfilled potential of the category, particularly that of avocados and mangos. “By creating a bespoke unit dedicated to the growing, procurement, ripening and marketing of exotics, our clear intent is to bring to bear the collective reach, resources and expertise typically associated with Dole Bananas and Pineapples to deliver a real point of difference to exotic fruits on the retail shelves of Europe and beyond”, the company explained in a press release.

By complementing group production with third-party sourcing, the new Dole Exotics division will offer “the security associated with its vertically integrated supply chain, a streamlined route to market and the in-house capacity to assure best agronomic and sustainable practices from farm to fork”.

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