Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif., has revamped its avocado packing lines in its facilities in Michoacan, Mexico, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing.
All non-special packs now are tray packed following the completion of new tray pack lines in August, he said.
The company also continues to pack more bags and more organic avocados in Mexico.
Wedin said he expects volume out of Mexico for Calavo and the industry as whole to be up 15% to 20% over last year.
Del Rey Avocado Co. Inc., Fallbrook, Calif., now is using its newly opened, 43,000-square-foot distribution center in nearby Vista. Calif., said partner Bob Lucy.
During the summer, the facility, which provides cold storage, bagging and preconditioning for avocados, handled primarily Peruvian avocados, he said. Now,
it’s filled with mostly Mexican fruit.
The distribution center holds 36 truckloads of avocados — about 60,000 boxes.
Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos. is adding a new avocado bag geared toward smaller-sized fruit, said Gary Caloroso, business development director.
“This will be an additional option to continue to promote healthy living as well as a vehicle for smaller-size avocados,” he said.
The company will continue to offer its regular bags, which emphasis good nutrition and include a healthy avocado recipe.
Sales of bagged avocados, especially for smaller sizes, are on the rise at Healthy Avocado Inc., Berkeley, Calif., said president Paul Weismann.
Bagged fruit is especially attractive because of its value pricing, he said.
Weismann said quality of the new crop out of Mexico has been good.
“Maturity is good, with about 25% dry matter, so it’s good eating,” he said.
Volume at Healthy Avocado is expected to be up about 20% over last year.
So far, there has been a lack of large-size avocados, but Weismann said he is hopeful that sizing will improve as the season progresses.
McDaniel Fruit Co., Fallbrook, Calif., has added some new partners this year, “Which will expand our volume in terms of being able to spread the business around a little more,” said Rankin McDaniel, owner and president.
The company will have more avocados from Mexico this year, and plenty of them.
“We see good promotable volumes coming from Mexico,” he said. “We’re hoping for no interruptions to the market.”
Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc. is promoting its Ready elevated ripe program that gives shoppers the perfectly ripe avocado when they are ready to enjoy it, said Denise Junqueiro, director of marketing.
“By simultaneously merchandising two ripe stages, a retailer encourages shoppers to stock up on their avocado needs for today and in a couple days,” she said.
“The Ready program reduces shrink, increases shopper spend and expands retailers’ avocado category while increasing sales velocity,” she added.
As the Mexican avocado deal ramps up, she said the industry expects “substantial volumes with promotable pricing.”
West Pak Avocado Inc., Murrieta, Calif., has partnered with Fairtrade America as the company sources Fair Trade avocados out of Mexico, said Jared Bray, who handles sales and business development.
“That’s been a great program to be involved with,” he said, since it provides health insurance for workers and ensures “a sustainable and ethical supply chain.”
Mexican avocados play vital role in U.S. deal
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Organic Mexican avocados play an important role
Increase in Mexican avocado imports