In North America, the humble banana may find itself half a world away from its origins of South East Asia. But like many an immigrant before, the banana has forged a formidable presence on the continent. In 2016, bananas were the fifth most popular fruit in the United States in regards to the amount spent on the fruit per store per week. This translated to around 11 percent of all fruit sales.
A look at the world production of bananas in 2014, suggests that the thirst for bananas in North America cannot be quenched by local production. While around 7,000 metric tons of bananas were produced in North America that year, it was dwarfed by Asia, which produced more than 63 million metric tons that year. While Asia is the dominant region in terms of production quantity, South American countries have the strongest presence regarding banana exports. In 2016, Ecuador was the biggest player in the market, commanding a 23.3 percent share of banana exports worldwide.
Consumer demands for quality and sustainability meant that the United States began to import organic bananas in 2013, having not imported such bananas in 2011 or 2012. Unsurprisingly, Ecuador was the largest supplier of those organic banana imports. What is impressive from the Ecuadorian perspective is the 39 percent import value share that year.
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