Mission Produce is launching a foodservice division for avocados. ( Courtesy Mission Produce )

As sales of avocados has risen rapidly at U.S. retailers in recent years, restaurants are also seeing demand rise.

Avocado grower-shipper Mission Produce, Oxnard, Calif., has seen its restaurant sales rise accordingly, and the company is launching a foodservice division to meet the unique demands of the category, according to a news release.

Mission’s seven ripening and distribution centers throughout the U.S. play an important role in the foodservice division, according to the release, because supply chain is critical in the sector. The facilities,

 “We know the foodservice industry needs a larger supply of avocados,” sales director Patrick Cortes said in the release. “Our global reach, sophisticated network and expertise, will provide on time and in spec avocados that are ready to be sliced, diced, mashed or pureed.”

The new division will be led by Bryan Garibay, foodservice sales manager, and supported by Jason Payne, who was recently hired by Mission as a salesman.

 “Jason Payne is a great addition to the team and his expertise in operations and ripening will go a long way when servicing our customers,” Garibay said in the release.

Mission has ripening/forward distribution centers in Chicago, Seattle, Oxnard, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver and Swedesboro, N.J.

Mission is highlighting the new foodservice division at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference and Expo July 28-29 in Monterey, Calif., as well as new packaging for the Emeralds in the Rough line.

“Mission Produce is beyond excited to share the launch of this division with buyers and suppliers,” Brent Scattini, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the release. “We know this evolution will be the answer for many foodservice distributors who are looking to provide the world’s finest avocados to their clients.”