Mexico feeds U.S. taste for avocados - The Packer

Mexico feeds U.S. taste for avocados

05/31/2013 11:35:00 AM
Fred Wilkinson

One could argue avocados have already achieved “everyday” status.

They’ve been well on their way for a while now. The fruit has rapidly expanded its presence in the U.S. market since it was OK’d for shipping to all 50 states back in February 2007 (seems like a long time ago, huh?).

Mexican avocados’ history of success speaks volumes, with Mexican product accounting for more than 60% of the U.S. supply.

The avocado industry has experienced steady growth during the past five years. From 2010 to 2011 alone, avocado sales grew 11%, to $2.9 billion, according to the news release.

Avocados from Mexico says there are still millions of consumers who don’t buy avocados, and they see that as a significant opportunity.

That’s an ambitious and wise contrast to some commodity’s marketing efforts that seek to appeal mostly to identified core heavy users rather than expanding markets and new consumers.

Given Michoacan’s producers’ ideal growing location (allowing year-round availability), history of market expansion (first hitting the billion-pounds-shipped mark in 2005-06 and again for 2012-13) and marketing savvy (promotions embracing Super Bowl Sunday and the Fourth of July), their place in the driver’s seat for the U.S. market is well established.

The U.S.’s continually growing taste for hass avocados has expanded the playing field, making room for not only longtime suppliers California, Mexico and Chile but also newer entrants such as Peru, which is beginning its second full season of shipping untreated product.

At the Mission Produce booth at the recent United Fresh 2013 expo in San Diego, director of marketing David Austin said demand for fruit has shippers scrambling to line up supply.

It’s a good time to be in the avocado business — and a great time for marketers of Mexican fruit.

fwilkinson@thepacker.com

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