Pitaya fruit also known as dragon fruit is native to Mexico and cultivating in countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and South American countries including Ecuador and Colombia. The verities of the fruit vary in color from yellow to pink, and the juice extracted from the fruit is popularly pink to purple colored. The juice of dragon fruit/ pitaya is also used with other fruit juices as well as alcoholic beverages. Various health benefits are associated with this fruit juice and is often marketed as a super fruit with rich antioxidant content, this has attracted consumers and led to a high value demand from health conscious consumers across the globe.
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Exotic fruits makes up for a relatively small share fruit production and exports, moreover a very less proportion of the same is goes for processing, but this has still created a high demand from major import markets in the European region where the consumption demand remains very high. Markets for the fruit as consumed fresh as well as processed is concentrated in the Asian region, countries such as Vietnam, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. China is the single largest importer the fruit and constitutes high consumption of pitaya juice in terms of volume consumed. However a high demand surge is derived from countries such as Germany, France, Italy, U.K. and the U.S., these countries constitute the biggest importers of this fruit outside Asia, in both fresh and processed forms. Vietnam has a high popularity of pitaya juice and is considered an important health fruit with high antioxidants, the rarity of the fruit makes it unique and exotic across the globe. Considering the global demand for pitaya on a rise, Vietnam which the major supplier of pitaya and pitaya juice has increased its production area and the total output drastically in the last five years. Nearly ten-fold increase has been registered in the total area under production for pitaya. The North American region has most of its suppliers of the fruit from the South American countries, Ecuadorian and Colombian pitaya are imported into the U.S. as juice concentrates and mostly fresh fruits. In the Middle East, Israel, is one of the important producer as well as consumer of pitaya juice and the organic variant of Israeli pitaya has gain popularity in the local as well as European market. The shelf life of pitaya is also relatively less and this creates a challenge in transporting the fruit globally, this is creating a hindrance achieving the efficient supply of the fruit. The juice format also struggles with same and the overall supply remains restricted.
Most of the production of the processed fruit products is done locally, however overseeing the demand in the global market for these exotic fruits, some International players have also started a dedicated product for such fruits juices, powders and concentrates. New innovative companies throughout the globe have also emerged as powerful brands in the respective regions. Moreover growth in organic fruit consumption, has created a rise in demand for different processed products made from these fruits and vegetables. A great potential for market is observed as the major producers of finished goods demand for a large supply of organic fruits including organic pitaya. The market for pitaya juice is small but promising and thus manufacturers have to adapt a product development and diversification strategies. Some of the key players in the market for pitaya juice are: Great Sun Pitaya Farm Sdn. Bhd., Pitaya Plus, Bai Brands (Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.), Welch Foods Inc., Juicy Juice (Harvest Hill Beverage Company), Nam Viet Foods & Beverag Co., Ltd., Madam Sun Sdn.Bhd, Biourah Herbal (M) Sdn Bhd among others.