1. Overview of dragon fruit production in the world
On the world market, there are 4 types of dragon fruit: red skin, white flesh, mainly from Vietnam and Thailand; red skin, red flesh come mainly from Israel and Malaysia; red skin, purple flesh from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Israel; yellow skin, white flesh from Colombia and Ecuador.
The major dragon fruit suppliers of the world are:
• Asia: Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Sri Lanka …
• Middle East: Israel
• America: Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala
In Central America, Nicaragua produces red dragon fruit for export to USA, Canada, Europe and Japan. Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica produce dragon fruit in small scale, in the garden. Colombian is the leading yellow dragon fruit supplier. Ecuador produces both yellow and red dragon fruit. Israel is also known as dragon fruit supplier for European countries.
2. Overview of export and import of dragon fruits in the world
Vietnam is currently the largest dragon fruit supplier in the world, accounting for the highest share in Asia, Europe and sometimes in the United States. Thailand and Israel are the second and third largest suppliers in the European market. In the United States, Mexico and Central and South America are the biggest competitors of Asian dragon fruit suppliers due to geographical advantages. Vietnam dragon fruit has long been a trademark of Asian Americans. Thailand, Malaysia … are trying to find market share in this market. In Asia, Vietnam is a leading supplier to the Chinese market, but other markets such as ASEAN and Hong Kong have been increasingly competitive from countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Columbia’s yellow dragon fruit are highly valued for their taste and form in the US market, as they are the sweetest and most vibrant of the dragon fruit varieties. This dragon fruit is also the opposite of the other dragon fruit, usually in November to February every year. Vietnam’s red dragon fruit, according to American consumers’ websites, is generally bigger than other types of dragon fruit, with a nice and impressive appearance, but it is light in color not as crispy and sweet as yellow dragon fruit. In contrast, the red dragon fruit of Vietnam, although not highly evaluated in form, but is rated superior flavor compared to other red dragon fruit (World Perspectives, Inc., 2012).
Consumers in Asia, especially China, buy dragon fruit mainly for fire-worship, so they often focus on the form of dragon fruit. Especially Japanese does not like the big dragon fruit; they value the flavor more than the size.
3. Dragon fruit’s market demand
Unlike other commodities such as coffee or rice, dragon fruit is not widely known to consumers in the world (outside the Asian community). However, the assessments show that the demand for dragon fruit is growing well all over the world, especially in the new markets of dragon fruit outside Asia. This demand is highly dependent on the marketing of products (especially information on the health effects of dragon fruit), reducing the price and improving the sweetness of dragon fruit.
a. Asia market:
Asia is the largest and most easily consumed dragon fruit market, especially in the Chinese community, due to the belief in the good fortune brought by the dragon fruit’s name, shapes, and colors. China is the largest consumer of dragon fruit in Asia and is also the largest in the world today. The demand for dragon fruits in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines has also increased in recent years. Some Asian countries not influenced by Chinese culture such as Japan, Korea … are also increasingly interested in dragon fruit due to the health benefits that dragon fruit bring.
b. European market:
The European market is the world’s leading importer of fresh fruits and vegetables, and quite open to new products. Therefore, although the dragon fruit is a relatively new and not widely advertised, the price is high, but still very promising and attracting more and more consumers on the continent. If it is possible to reduce the cost and further promote the nutritional value of dragon fruit, it will certainly reach most of the population in European countries.
c. US market:
Dragon fruit is traditional good for Asian consumers in the US. Due to the high Asian and Vietnamese communities, demand for dragon fruit is relatively high. For other ethnic groups, dragon fruit is relatively new and only known in the high-end market segment. However, analysts say this is a fast-growing market in the near future, as farm owners in Florida and California have begun planting dragon fruit to meet market demand.