KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 9, 2017 – A Jamaican food staple is making a strong comeback on the export market.
Demand for the country’s national fruit, ackee, is up and authorities who have been reporting a jump in foreign exchange earnings from the product are expecting even more.
The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is forecasting that ackee exports will grow by US$21.1 million by the end of this year and US$29.25 million by 2020.
This comes against the backdrop of record exports last year which reached as high as US$20 million, up from the US$4.4 million the country reached back in 2000 when it broke into the US market.
Ackee is not the only product enjoying improved sales.
According to the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), the demand for local products has been rising over the past five years for rum, coffee and jerk seasoning.
“In February 2012, for every person searching for Jamaican jerk, four persons searched for rum, eight for coffee and 40 people searched for ackee, according to Google Trends. Fast-forward to this February and ackee searches continue to dominate at 59 searches for every eight for coffee and rum and three for jerk,” JEA stated on its website.
The association attributes the strong performance to an increase in consumers searching for local Jamaican products online rather than relying on traditional methods of trade.