(UPDATED COVERAGE, 10:23 a.m., May 16) More than 1 billion pounds of avocados are expected to ship from Mexico to the U.S. this season.
That would shatter last season’s record total of 782 million pounds.
Due to a projected volume increase of 12% for the April to June period, shipments should top 1 billion by season’s end, said Eduardo Serena, marketing director for APEAM, the organization representing avocado exporters from Michoacan, Mexico.
The initial estimate was for 918 million pounds.
“We knew going into this crop year that it would be a strong year,” Serena said. “Avocados from Mexico has been fueling strong, steady demand with promotable volumes of quality fruit all season. As the category leader, we are committed to providing the market with consistent, reliable volume to grow on.”
Through May 5, 938 million pounds of avocados had shipped from Mexico to the U.S., up from 654 million pounds last year at the same time, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The strong demand this season has been driven by aggressive marketing in both general and Hispanic markets, Serena said.
“Avocados have become more of a mainstream item that consumers enjoy on a regular basis, all year long,” he said.
Marketing efforts have included broadcast and online advertising, promotions, public relations, special events and social media engagement, Serena said.
In addition, Avocados from Mexico continues to invest in category research to provide retailers with best practices data and insights to help increase sales and drive growth, he said.
“The key message that is threaded throughout all our programs is that Avocados from Mexico make good food better, and only avocados from Mexico are available all year long.”
And consumers can expect more of the same next season, Serena said, though 2013-14 projections wont’ come out until July.
“Strong promotable volume is expected to continue for next year.”
MEXICAN AVOCADO SHIPMENTS TO THE U.S., IN POUNDS (SOURCE: APEAM):
2012-13 1,069,603,608 (estimated)