Subway’s “Avocado-licious!” and “Avocadohh” promotion of chunky avocado sandwich spread might have been one of this summer’s highest-profile use of avocados by a restaurant chain, but avocado marketers say many other foodservice venues have the fruit on their menus too.
“Foodservice is a huge growth area for avocados,” said Dana Thomas, president and chief executive officer, Index Fresh Inc., Bloomington, Calif.
Chefs and foodservice buyers are looking at a variety of ways to incorporate avocados into their menus, said Chris Henry, director of sales and marketing, Giumarra Agricom International, Escondido, Calif.
Thomas said restaurants and foodservice operators use avocados in a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, omelets and burgers.
“I don’t think you can go into a restaurant that serves burgers and not see an avocado burger,” he said.
Avocados also are used as side dishes or garnishes with eggs.
Chefs are creatively branching out in their uses of avocado, Thomas said.
“Traditionally, you think of avocados in Mexican restaurants,” said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales and marketing, Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif.
“But now … they’re very universal.”
Avocado sales to foodservice buyers are growing because so many restaurant chains now serve the fruit, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing, Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.
The Hass Avocado Board, Irvine, Calif., offers menu-planning support, promotional materials and foodservice recipes. For more information, visit its website at www.avocadocentral.com.