iTi Tropicals, Inc. has led the way in tropical fruit juices, concentrates and purees since its inception in 1988, and we have been enhancing the value we bring to customers ever since. The visionary behind the company, Gert van Manen, founded iTi because he believed that US beverage consumers could be enticed to move from primarily soda, orange and apple juice to tropical fruit beverages. He also believes today, as he did then, that focus is critical and the company continues to import only tropical fruit products for our customers.
Driving product innovation was important from the beginning, for example, in 1988, banana puree was primarily used for baby food and bakery products. Today, banana is in demand for beverages due to its flavor and texture. Gert continues to encourage his customers to innovate, seeing similar opportunities for food and beverage companies to bring other tropical fruits to the consumer.
We directly support customer innovation through our industry leading technical talent. Our R&D staff includes a PhD food scientist and a senior food technologist with forty years of industry experience. Both prospective and existing customers are encouraged to take advantage of the iTi R&D kitchen, located at our Amsterdam canal house inspired buildings in Lawrenceville, NJ. The team and the workspace are catalysts for the creative process, encouraging customers to discover new applications and formulations.
Once a product is preparing for launch, our worldwide network of processors is tapped for the tropical ingredients needed to supply production. Twenty two years ago our challenge was to find a factory in Asia or South America that could produce product of a quality that was acceptable to the US market. Today we have many excellent processors and the iTi team continuously travels to India, Indonesia, Thailand, Ecuador, Peru and other countries. By visiting the plantations and processing plants, iTi develops an understanding of local, regional and global trends. We examine every aspect of production in person, from weather and crop forecasts to competition and cultural issues. For example, in the current economic climate, oil prices impact biodiesel production, which flows to food commodity prices, requiring constant attention and business adjustments. We also work to educate customers regarding the impacts of these variables on their products, as well as the specific sourcing and application characteristics of the individual fruit products.
We at iTi Tropicals see a bright future for the company and for demand for tropical fruit products in the US. Changing demographics and trends toward healthier eating will likely increase demand, and we have also shed some less promising products to focus on core products:
- Coconut Cream
- Coconut Water
- Passion Fruit
- Camu Camu
- other exotics
While the company embraces change and creativity, we are also committed to consistency in relationships. That is the philosophy that sustainability starts with loyalty. Loyalty to our valued processors, customers and employees. iTi Tropicals is always eager to be your supplier of choice for tropical fruit juices, concentrates, and purees and we welcome inquiries regarding the benefits that customers can realize through our products and services.