Grower-shippers and commissions project adequate avocado supplies ahead of guacamole-centric holiday Cinco de Mayo.
“It is projected that avocado supplies during the four weeks leading up to Cinco will be strong this year,” said Stephanie Bazan, vice president of trade and market development for Avocados From Mexico.
“A 17% increase in avocado supply is projected the four weeks leading up to Cinco versus last year.”
Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, suggested comparing volume to 2018 as well since 2019 was a year of short supply for avocados.
“For the three weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo, the average weekly supply of avocados from all sources is currently forecast at 64 million pounds,” DeLyser said. “This is an increase of 8% versus 2018.”
Allan Acosta, general manager of tropical category for Robinson Fresh, also conveyed expectations for sufficient volume.
“Avocado supplies are expected to be good leading into Cinco de Mayo,” Acosta said.
“Mexico production is expected to have the majority of the volume while California production is expected to be in full swing at that time. The California Avocado Commission recently announced a forecast of 369 million pounds for November 2019–October 2020. The 70% increase in volume compared to year prior is mostly due to the heavy rains California received last year, which helped the trees achieve a heavy fruit set.
“Additionally, the first arrivals from Peru are expected to begin arriving before the Cinco de Mayo pull,” Acosta said.
Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing for Del Monte Fresh Produce, said the company expects solid volumes from Mexico and California.
“With Mexico and California having such a high dry matter percentage, fruit and size curve will accommodate retail promotions of all sizes, so the quality is expected to be excellent,” Christou said.
Aaron Acosta, corporate relationship manager for Agroexport, which has its main distribution center in Pharr, Texas, and markets the Villita brand of avocados, said quality is expected to be strong and that the largest concentration of fruit will be medium to small in size.
Patrick Cortes, senior director of business development for Mission Produce, also indicated avocado volumes leading up to Cinco de Mayo are expected to be sufficient, although there were still some questions yet to be answered given that the holiday is still nearly two months away.
“With the information we have presently, there’s a couple schools of thought,” Cortes said March 6.
“By and large, we think overall there will be relatively good tonnage when you take into the account it’ll be Mexico and California. I think there still is a concern, though, that there’s not a real expectation for the size and grade out of Mexico to really improve dramatically, so you’ve got the conundrum of good volumes but the challenge of potentially too much small fruit and too many No. 2s.”
Allan Acosta noted that he expected sizing to differ based on country of origin.
“There’s a good mix of all sizes for that time period for retail promotions,” Acosta said. “California is expected to be mostly 48s and smaller. Peru is expected to be heavy to 48 and larger, and Mexico is expected to peak on size 48s during that time period.”