Over the years, consumers in Toronto and Montreal have developed a reputation for being major consumers of fruits and vegetables, said Bob Lucy, partner in Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc., Fallbrook, Calif.
“We sell quite a few avocados into Montreal,” he said. “We load a Canadian pack for our customers in Canada out of Mexico.”
Del Rey Avocado does not sell many avocados into the Vancouver, British Columbia, area in the western part of Canada, but Lucy said other companies do.
Lucy believes that consumption in Canada may catch up with U.S. consumption eventually, even though that country lacks the Hispanic demographic that the U.S. has in Texas and California that makes avocados a “natural fit.”
Avocados are becoming a mainstream item, he said, and no longer depend on a consumer’s ethnicity.
However, he said distance and climate remain challenges.
“Avocados do better in warmer weather,” he said, when consumers tend to eat salads and attend outdoor sporting events.
Canada is a good market for Calavo, though.
“We’ve got retail programs going heavy in eastern Canada,” Wedin said.
Retailers often use the company’s Verify Internal Pressure program to ensure for ready-to-eat fruit.
“I’m very pleased with the results we’re getting there,” he said.
Retailers in western Canada have been slower to adopt the ripening programs, Wedin said.
Although avocados often are associated with the U.S. market, he said advances also are being made in Europe and Asia.
“This growth is happening worldwide,” Wileman said.
Europeans typically receive their avocados from growers in Chile, Peru, South Africa, Israel and Spain, he said. But still, there is an opportunity for Mexican fruit, as well.