Nanica Banana: its growing prominence in production and consumption
The nanica banana, also known in some regions as banana d'água, although it is not the most sold, is considered the most consumed fruit in Brazil, and one of the most produced in the world. India, China and Indonesia being its largest producers, followed by Brazil. This fact can be explained due to its high nutritional value, with high levels of magnesium, potassium and vitamins, and because it is the sweetest of bananas, pleasing the palate of many.
According to analyzes of wholesalers contacted by Hortifruti/Cepea (Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics), dwarf banana tends to increase in value this year, due to the improvement in demand in March, due to the return of classes in line with the increase in productions that were favored by rain and adequate temperatures, culminating in the filling of bunches in the regions production companies. This scenario led to a drop in the price of dwarf bananas and a consequent increase in consumption.
Although nanica banana is one of the main exported Brazilian fruits, it is far from leading exports to the most developed powers . This occurs because the European and North American markets, for example, are very demanding, making our domestic product considered unqualified for them. In addition, virtually all of the country's midget banana production is destined for the domestic market, with only 1% turned to exports. However, currently there are production centers with potential for growth and actions being developed in order to expand Brazilian exports of nanica bananas, as is the case of Vale do Ribeira in São Paulo and the north of Santa Catarina.
It is not new that the consumption of nanica bananas is very high in Brazil. According to the Household Budget Survey (POF) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazilians consume an average of around 25 kilos of bananas per capita/year. Its high consumption is linked to several factors: practicality, being able to be consumed in natura, just peeling it; to its benefits, being very rich in nutrients and dietary fibers that promote satiety; its cost benefit, which due to the high demand, can be sold at a lower price without loss of profit for the producers, representing an important social role; and for its accessibility, which can be found in all regions of the country and throughout the year, as it is a fruit that adapts easily to the Brazilian tropical climate.
Although dwarf bananas are not the focus of imports from European and North American markets, in Mercosur countries, with emphasis on Argentina and Uruguay, due to the lower quality requirements compared to other markets, the level of Brazilian imports of dwarf bananas is high, mainly due to the fact that one of the regions with the highest production of dwarf bananas, which is the region of North of Santa Catarina, to be closer to the Mercosur countries, facilitating exports.
On the other hand, even though European countries do not import much fruit of Brazilian origin, the tendency is for this to change, since the United Kingdom left Brexit, the country has stopped importing so much from the bloc and has expanded its imports, bringing new opportunities for Brazilian exporters. In addition, after the Covid-19 pandemic, it was found that the British have been seeking to change their eating habits and are therefore more attentive to the nutritional information on food and beverage labels, according to the Lifestyles Consumer Survey, by Euromonitor, about 34% of Britons monitor their diet. This change in eating habits consequently boosts the consumption of fruits such as nanica banana.
By: Giovanna Uema on 04/07/2023