Villita Avocados Inc. has a couple of major projects in the works.
First, the Pharr, Texas-based grower-shipper planned to release its first-ever line of guacamole products and avocado pulp the second week of August, and the company will kick off the first commercial harvest of hass avocados in south Texas within two to three years.
Vertically integrated Villita Avocados grows, harvests, packs and handles the logistics for its avocado program in Michoacan, Mexico, and in Peru, said Aaron Acosta, corporate relationship manager.
“Now we will be adding on processed avocado offerings,” he said.
The new line will include three flavors of guacamole — mild, original and spicy — and plain avocado pulp.
Packaging will range from a 2-ounce single-serve container to a 3-pound foodservice bag.
They will be made completely in-house based on family recipes that have been tweaked for the American consumer’s taste profile, Acosta said.
The company has installed the largest high-pressure pasteurization machine in Latin America in a new Primus Labs-certified facility built next to its packing plant, he said.
The product won’t look like “avocado slurry,” Acosta said.
“It has the consistency — visually and tastewise — comparable to homemade guacamole.”
It will be sold under Villita’s We Love Guac brand.
Villita Avocados also is experimenting with a new program in the U.S.
There have been a few green-skin avocado plots in Texas, Acosta said.
“We’ve taken that a step forward and are now commercializing the first hass orchards in south Texas.”
Villita’s farm in Cameron County has a little more than 100 acres and has planted about 20 acres with trees that are in various stages of maturity.
“We have some trees that are already providing fruit,” he said.
But he does not expect the company to have any significant production for two to three years.
Villita is in the process of tenting most of the acreage to protect the avocados from the sun and heat.
The property is surrounded by water on three sides, which prevents big jumps in temperatures, he said.