Organic avocados allow sales opportunities for retailers

08/15/2011 01:57:00 PM
Dan Gailbraith

Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla., also offers organic avocados because demand is good, said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing.

Organic avocados are a small, but growing, percentage of Del Monte’s sales.

Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc.’s organic sales volume is about 3% of total avocado sales, said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales and marketing. He said it’s an important growth area for the industry, but organic avocado production might be less important than it is for some other vegetables.

“We don’t spray a lot, and you don’t eat the skin,” he said. “It’s a little different as opposed to a row crop item that you eat the whole thing.”

Fresherized Foods, Fort Worth, Texas, introduced Wholly Guacamole-brand organic guacamole about three years ago, said Tracey Altman, vice president of marketing. She said it sells well in specialty stores, but as the economy took a dive, consumer and retailer demand for it dropped off.

“We’ve seen people aren’t willing to pay the price in some areas,” she said.

Sales of its conventional Wholly Guacamole Classic and Wholly Guacamole Snack Packs have increased, despite economic doldrums.


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