Colombia Features Exotic Fruit Exports to Canada at 22 Fortinos Locations in Toronto and GTA

Fortinos provides shoppers access to new healthy produce through special in-store promotion Friday, March 20Thursday, March 26, 2015, giving away complimentary recipe booklets

TORONTO, March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- (Procolombia) – From March 20 – 26, 2015, Procolombia will partner with Fortinos to promote Colombian fruit exports to Canada at 22 store locations in the Greater Toronto Area. The partnership aims to provide a diverse offering of healthy and exotic fruits, including Colombian Physalis, Pitayas, Passion Fruits, Granadillas, and Tamarillos. In addition, on the weekend of March 21-22, 2015, Fortinos will feature in-store fruit samplings from 10:00am to 2:00pm showcasing the great flavors of these fruits.  

Fortinos prides itself on its healthy offerings, and the Loblaw-owned chain hopes that the Colombian fruit display will encourage shoppers to try unfamiliar foods and incorporate them into their home cooking and entertaining menus. During the demos, Fortinos' shoppers will learn about the health benefits of the fruits and receive a complimentary recipe booklet that will showcase how to best enjoy the fruits, which are available year-round due to Colombia's unique climate that allows for constant production.

For this promotion, Procolombia partnered with Caribbean Exotics, a Colombian-based exporter of agricultural products. The promotion also highlights the growing trade relationship between Colombia and Canada, which is not limited to fruits and agriculture.

"Since the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on August 15, 2011, Colombian trade to Canada has been booming," said Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of Procolombia. According to Statistics Canada, in 2014, Colombia exported more than US$63.8 million worth of fruits to Canada.

Colombian exports reach all of Canada's major provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Ontario. Products come from a range of sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture and textiles. In 2014, the three most popular non-traditional exports to Canada were flowers (US$83.5 million), fruits (US$63.8 million), and plastic products (US$10.1million). Since Colombia and Canada signed the FTA, Colombian exotic fruit exports to Canada have grown by more than 57 percent (period of 2012-2014).

Colombia offers a huge variety of fruits, and Fortinos expects its customers might be familiar with only a handful. The demonstrations serve to inform shoppers of the fruit varieties, and encourage them to expand their shopping lists.

As springtime rolls in, the recipes, which include smoothies, jams, and salads, are a great way to welcome in the season. An overview of the fruits and their respective benefits:

Tamarillo
Colombia's Tamarillo is also referred to as the "Tree Tomato". While the fruit is bitter if eaten raw, its sweet flavor comes out when the fruit is cooked. Tamarillos are very healthy, and are particularly low in calories. They are also a great source of electrolytes and potassium. The fruit is best cooked, used raw in the form of juice, or as a component for mild-flavored sauces.

Colombian Physalis 
Colombian Physalis is a fruit from the Andes Mountains. Th­ough it belongs in the same family as tomatoes, it is more often associated with and eaten like a berry. Physalis are packed with vitamins A and C, high in antioxidants and contribute to healthy vision and bones. Their slightly sour flavor enables their use in a wide variety of preparations. For example, they can be enjoyed raw as a morning snack or cooked in the form of jams, sauces and chutneys.  

Yellow Pitaya 
Colombia's Yellow Pitaya is much sweeter than its counterpart, the red pitaya or dragon fruit. Yellow Pitaya is rich in fiber and known to help regulate the digestive system, contains vitamin C, acting as an antioxidant and immune system booster and contains properties that help reduce high cholesterol levels. Additionally, its edible seeds contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Yellow Pitaya is better enjoyed chilled and is ideal for adding a touch of exotic flavor to salads.

Purple Passion Fruit
Purple Passion Fruit is a wonder for those wanting to combat the negative effects of stress. Known in Colombia as "Gulupa," this exotic fruit has calming properties that help combat insomnia, boost brain function and regulate blood pressure. Good for heart and bone health, Passion Fruit also works as a detoxifier, contributing to good liver and kidney functions. The fruit's tanginess is perfect for turning simple dishes such as a dessert crumble into unexpected experiences that will impress guests.

Granadilla
High in antioxidants and vitamins A, B and E, Granadilla is packed with nutrients that help calm the nervous system, reducing stress, anxiety and insomnia. Granadilla also contains significant amounts of calcium, iron and fiber and, like many fruits containing edible seeds, is ideal for regulating the digestive system. Granadilla's sweet flavor and high water content make it a perfect snack on its own or as part of a refreshing drink.

In addition to health benefits, these fruits provide endless inspiration for great recipes. To access these recipes please visit: http://www.slideshare.net/pasante/preview-recetario-frutas-exoticas-16x11-cm-2015-ingles-amer-160315.

For more information on Colombian products and the free trade agreement, please visit: http://www.procolombia.co/en.

About PROCOLOMBIA:         
PROCOLOMBIA is the government promotion agency in charge of promoting trade, investment, tourism and country brand. In order to obtain more information about the events and festivals in Cartagena, please visit www.procolombia.co.

For more information, contact:   
Ola Beilock
212-880-5235
Ola.beilock@ogilvy.com

SOURCE PROCOLOMBIA

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