HomeNewsMandarins overtake bananas, but what about apples? Ukraine’s top 5 favorite winter fruits

Mandarins overtake bananas, but what about apples? Ukraine’s top 5 favorite winter fruits

EastFruit analysts have observed a notable shift in Ukrainian consumer preferences during the winter season, with a marked increase in the popularity of mandarins. In the 2023/24 winter, mandarin consumption from November to February surpassed that of bananas, which have traditionally dominated the market in terms of yearly import volume. Remarkably, in December 2023, the consumption of mandarins doubled that of bananas.

Despite this trend, the importance of local fruits remains. Economist Andriy Yarmak from the Investment Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that Ukraine consumes approximately 40-45 thousand tons of fresh apples each winter month. Apple consumption exhibits a less pronounced seasonality compared to mandarins, peaking in October and November, then slightly declining in the December-February period due to competition from citrus fruits. Demand for apples reaches its zenith again in March-May, although the availability of quality apples often diminishes, leading to price increases. Should the supply remain ample and prices reasonable, apple consumption may rebound in the spring months. However, as the market introduces new harvests of vegetables, fruits, and berries in late May, apple consumption starts to wane, continuing to drop until the end of August.

Other local fruits like pears have a much lower consumption rate, yet there is potential for growth, and Ukrainian farmers are progressively expanding their cultivation areas.

Apples continue to be Ukraine’s premier winter fruit, with mandarin consumption closely approaching apple levels in December. Throughout the winter, apple consumption is roughly one and a half times greater than that of mandarins. Annually, apples also surpass bananas in domestic consumption.

Following closely are mandarins and tangerines, with Ukrainians consuming 40-45% more of these fruits in winter compared to bananas. Turkey is the primary and nearly exclusive supplier of mandarins to Ukraine this season, accounting for 85% of all imports. Other significant suppliers include Egypt, Greece, Pakistan, and Spain.

Bananas hold the third spot in Ukrainian winter consumer preferences, mainly imported from Ecuador and outpacing oranges by 75-80% in consumption volume.

Oranges rank fourth in popularity, with imports exceeding those of clementines by 60-65%. Turkey and Egypt are the leading suppliers, with Spain and Greece also contributing substantial quantities.

Clementines complete the top five winter fruits, though many Ukrainians do not differentiate them from mandarins. Both belong to the “easy-peeling citrus” category. The supply chain for clementines differs, with Greece, Italy, and Spain as the main suppliers, followed by Albania.

When combined, clementines and mandarins could rival apples in consumption volume during December.

Other winter favorites in Ukraine include grapefruits, lemons, persimmons, pomegranates, kiwis, avocados, and table grapes, predominantly sourced through imports.


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