Hyderabad: Exotic fruits find a way into Indians' hearts
Hyderabad: Be it Kothapet or MJ Market fruit market, imported fruits including blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, dragon fruit, kiwi, pears, persimmon, avocados, rambutan and imported oranges, apples, grapes etc., are ubiquitous and increasingly favoured
Hyderabad: Exotic fruits which have been privy to exclusive supermarkets, are now being sold at roadsides across the city like any other fruit.
From the pink dragon to blueberries or tangy kiwis, the exotic fruits have stirred the taste buds of all sections of people as they are increasingly found being sold in supermarkets, fruit shops as well as on carts at roadsides across the city.
Thank the fruit traders for making the exotic fruits easily available in the city by importing these foreign fruits in large numbers. Be it Kothapet or MJ Market fruit market, the imported fruits including blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, dragon fruit, kiwi, pears, persimmon, avocados, rambutan and imported oranges, apples, grapes etc. are easily available in abundance. Apart from these markets, the fruits are also available roadside in areas like Chirag Ali Lane, Abids, Tolichowki, Malakpet, Barkas, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills.
Rise in import
These foreign fruits have reported an increase in import as well as in consumption. At Kothapet fruit market, reports indicate that imports of exotic fruits have been growing by 20 per cent annually.
According to the traders at Kothapet market, several wholesalers as well as street vendors were purchasing imported fruits in the market. Though the price of fruits is high compared to local fruits, these fruits are being sold in large numbers. "Earlier, imported oranges, apples, grapes were used to be in high demand, but now several other fruits about 50 different varieties are available in the market," said Sunil Kumar, owner of Jai Ram fruits at Kothapet.
"Now, as all kinds of fruits are being sold in open markets across the city, the consumption of exotic fruits has increased in recent years," he added.
A few years back, the royal apple, green apple, oranges used to be imported from California, Australia, Turkey, but now these exotic fruits are imported from 5-6 countries including China, Vietnam, Europe, Australia, Canada, Thailand, South Africa and Italy. "All types of berries are imported from Australia and Canada, Grapes from US, China and Peru, Kiwi from Iran, 3 types of Pears from South Africa, Dragon fruit from Vietnam," said another trader.
Cold storage facilities add to cost
He said as fruits are perishable goods, preserving them is a major task. The fruits should be stored in a fridge with a protective temperature. Traders face risks of incurring huge losses if the fruits get damaged even after storing in a protective manner," he noted.
When one crosses the colonies of Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Abids and Barkas several exotic fruits including the rare Indian fruits are available on roadsides. "At least 20 different types of exotic fruits including grapes, pears, 4 types of berries, litchi, kiwi, dragon fruit and many more including rare local fruits like star fruit, falsa, Jungli Jalebi (Camachile), mulberry are available and several customers stop and purchase these fruits," said a vendor at Chirag Ali Lane in Abids.
Nutritionists claim that a lot of consumers are adopting plant-based foods and incorporating nutritious exotic fruits in their daily food habits due to their wonderful flavor and myriad health benefits in this Covid times. The business of exotic fruits is also largely influenced by the ever-evolving consumer habits and the abundant health benefits they carry. For example, avocados are a great source of Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, the sweet and tangy kiwis are loaded with nutrients like Vitamins C, K, E, folate, and potassium. Both these exotic fruits are packed with antioxidants and are a good source of fiber too.