With its regional network, the supplier can offer customers same-day service for ripening and delivering product, he said.
“We make sure it’s the exact specs they are looking for,” he added.
All eight of the forward distribution facilities that Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc. operates have been expanded as the company’s ripening program has grown over the past two years, said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales and marketing.
Now, up to 65% of the firm’s avocados are preripened, he said.
It pays to have ripe avocados at retail, he said.
Unless consumers are buying avocados for a party or special occasion, chances are they’re making the purchase on impulse.
“The first thing they do is pick it up to see if it’s ready to eat,” he said. “More times than not, if it’s hard, they put it back.”
Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif., has plenty of preripened avocados available to help retailers kick off the 2012 California avocado season, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and fresh marketing.
Calavo preripens more than 35% of its avocados at facilities in Santa Paula, Temecula and Swedesboro, N.J., he said.
Including product from customers who ripen avocados themselves, Wedin estimates that nearly half of avocados sold are preripened.