How will consumers and manufacturers respond to Del Monte's GMO pink pineapple?

Correction: The name of the company that made the pink pineapple was misstated in a previous version of this article.

Dive Brief:

  • Fresh Del Monte Produce received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the sale of its genetically modified pink pineapple, called Rosé, Food Safety Magazine reported.
  • Researchers used genetic engineering to produce lower levels of enzymes that convert lycopene into yellow beta carotene, which in pineapples results in a sweeter and pinker inner flesh compared to conventionally grown pineapples.
  • The GMO pineapple, which is grown in Costa Rica, is still in the testing phase and is not yet commercially available for consumers.

Dive Insight:

Despite reservations many consumers and public health advocates have about genetically modified foods, researchers, farmers and ingredient suppliers continue to innovate to produce more numerous and more diversified GMO crops. In recent years, GMO potatoes and apples have also received agency approval in the U.S.

However, it's unclear how health-conscious consumers and manufacturers will accept these new GMO crops. Their perceptions may ultimately come down to how Fresh Del Monte Produce and other GMO ingredient producers position the new products. If producers can scientifically prove the safety of the GM version of a crop, then promoting the product's flavor or appearance benefits may resonate with consumers who haven't entirely turned away from all GMOs.

Another key approach for GMO products has been sustainability, though this point has caused significant debate among farmers and manufacturers. GMO supporters claim that ingredients genetically engineered to produce higher yields or reduce crop death from disease are the best solution for feeding a growing population on a restricted agricultural supply. But opponents argue that GMO crops harm soil health and can contaminate nearby non-GMO or organic crops

Filed Under: Manufacturing Policy Marketing
Top image credit: Victoria Rachitzky Hoch