March Madness and foodservice add to increasing avocado demand

From Fresh Plaza | 19 March 2021

Overview of the avocado season by Gary Caloroso of Giumarra Companies, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on March 18, 2021. 

Supplies of avocados are strong right now and demand continues to build.Gary Caloroso of Los Angeles, CA-based Giumarra Companies says there are currently promotable supplies of avocados from now through to Cinco de Mayo. Supplies are mostly from Mexico though Caloroso adds that California growers have started harvesting as well.

Main origins (volume in Lb) of avocados in the US Market in the weeks leading to 5 de Mayo in 2020

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Volumes (in Lb) of avocados from California in the US Market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

“There are a variety of sizes available,” he says. “Right now, is a very good time though to have retailers offer smaller-sized fruit in bags. We have seen an increase in avocado bag sales since the pandemic. It was already trending that way before, but since the pandemic we’ve seen an increase in sales of bagged avocados.”

He adds that consumers are also expanding why they are interested in avocados as a product. “We know the health message is very strong in avocados. They’re looked at as a healthy fat and a good replacement for butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, etc.,” says Caloroso. “While health continues to be the number one reason why people buy avocados, with the pandemic, part of that health reason now also includes immunity. Consumers view avocados as immunity boosting.”

Building towards Cinco

That could be part of the reason why demand is still strong. “This month is also March Madness for the NCAA basketball tournament and so demand is still high for avocados,” continued Caloroso. “The Cinco de Mayo consumption period starts in April and builds towards Cinco. That’s one of the largest consumption periods of the year.” He adds that along with the Big Game of course, the Fourth of July is another high avocado-purchasing holiday for retailers and consumers.

Demand could continue to get stronger, too. “As the economy opens up across the country, we also expect to see an increase in foodservice demand as more restaurants open up,” adds Caloroso.

This increased avocado demand has led to higher pricing. “Pricing has increased dramatically over the last three weeks. While we typically see an avocado price increase every March, we also saw a freeze in Mexico this time which affected prices,” he concluded.

Price (in USD) and volumes (in Lb) of avocados in the US Market

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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