( Courtesy Index Fresh )

With a new season for the GEM avocado, Index Fresh, Riverside, Calif., plans to double the volume of the variety.

The variety, named after University of California researcher Grey E. Martin, complements the hass variety, according to a news release from Index Fresh.

“By carrying the GEM variety alongside hass, we believe that it will just boost the overall category and increase general sales without taking away from the hass,” Todd Elder, vice president of sales, said in the release. “One of GEM’s attributes is that it’s usually a very large piece of fruit, which makes it a large premium offering for retailers who are also carrying a smaller size, economical variety.”

GEM avocados will be available for six to eight weeks this season, starting the first week of April, but the volume and season length will expand in future seasons, according to the release.

Index Fresh is sending samples to retailers, with information that highlights the potential for extending the avocado category with the newer variety.

“GEM is a larger piece of fruit that sits internally in the tree, covered by leaves. We haven’t seen alternate bearing yet, not to say it won’t come in the future,” Bailey Diioia, a field representative for Index Fresh, said in the release. “It’s just a very good eating piece of fruit, and there’s no consumer educational period because it blackens when ripe.”

There’s a two-year wait list for the GEM trees, according to Index Fresh, which shows the variety’s long-term interest, according to the release. Index Fresh’s grower-partners are committed to building a dedicated program, according to the release.

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