Del Rey Avocado Inc. is expanding its Vineland, N.J., facility after moving in just 18 months ago. ( Courtesy Del Rey Avocado Inc. )

Demand in the eastern U.S. has seen movement from Fallbrook, Calif.-based Del Rey Avocado’s Vineland, N.J. facility grow so rapidly, it’s expanding after 18 months.

Del Rey moved into the facility in January 2017, and plans to add 30,000 square feet of cold storage and ripening rooms, according to a news release.

The company ships conventional, organic and Fair Trade avocados from the Vineland facility.

Del Rey credits growth in avocado sales in a diversity of stock-keeping units, which hasn’t affected bulk sales, according to a news release.

“This is a proven merchandising strategy in produce departments as evidenced by Nielsen market research conducted on ‘berry patch’ merchandising, and other specialty commodities like artichokes,” according to the release.

With that demand, Del Rey has added two bagging lines in Vineland in the last month. The two additional ripening rooms should be completed in July.

The Vineland facility serves north to Maine, south to the Carolinas, and west to the Missouri Valley, according to the release. Most of the fruit is from Mexico, but the company also ships product from Peru, Chile, and California (when in season) from there.  Joe Heinz, who has 25 years of experience in the avocado industry, manages the facility.