Mission Produce gearing up for Cinco de Mayo

From The Produce News | 9 April 2024

Overview of avocados in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on April 8, 2024.

This year, 25 million households plan to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and most plan to do so by going out, according to Numerator’s 2024 U.S. Annual Holiday Preview. Between restaurant dining and ordering delivery, the foodservice industry is expecting to serve at least 49 percent of Cinco celebrators.

With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Sunday this year, restaurants can incorporate Cinco-themed dishes into their Sunday brunch.

With all that in mind, Mission Produce is gearing up for the celebration.

“Cinco de Mayo is a tremendous opportunity to promote Mission avocados and mangos,” said Galen Johnson, senior director of sales for foodservice and wholesale for the Oxnard, CA-based company. “Mangos are a great way to sweeten up the celebrations — a little mango can go a long way when added to guacamole, salsa or a fruity dessert.”

Additionally, Cinco de Mayo is what the company calls an avo-casion, or an avocado holiday.

“It’s one of the biggest guacamole consumption days of the year, and we see avocados incorporated into all types of fun, Cinco-themed dishes,” Johnson said. “The National Mango Board is featuring its Tropical Mango Guacamole this year, which adds some fun and extra flavor to traditional guacamole.”

This Cinco de Mayo, Mission Produce will be supplying customers with high-quality, perfectly ripened avocados to be used for guacamole, avocado crema, slices and dices for huevos, breakfast tacos and enchiladas and everything else “con aguacate.”

“As masters in the art of ripening, Mission Produce is the most reliable supplier for avocados that are perfectly ripened to the exact stage you need them for each recipe,” Johnson said. “For slicing and dicing, we recommend using stage four avocados, but for mashing and smashing, we recommend stage five. We partner with our customers to curate custom programs and schedule deliveries that match their menus.”

avocado volumes by histo 4

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

Mission Produce starts to pull orders for Cinco in mid-to-late April, so March is a good time for foodservice and retail to start planning their avocado and mango programs. The company typically sees foodservice consumption increase from March through May as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.

“And after Cinco comes the biggest foodservice holiday of the year — Mother’s Day,” Johnson said. “So, we’re partnering with our customers on programs that will leverage supply throughout the whole month of May.”

At retail, Cinco de Mayo is a basket-building opportunity as Mission Produce regularly sees a lift in both avocado and mango sales and larger basket sizes as consumers prepare to feast and fiesta with their friends and families.

“Last year, avocados experienced an 18 percent lift and mangos had a 36 percent lift over the prior four-week average,” Johnson said. “Cinco baskets with avocados and mangos were worth $110 — 62 percent greater than the average produce basket. For this reason, the weekend of Cinco de Mayo is a great time to cross-merchandise avocados and mangos with affinity ingredients, like chips and tortillas.”

Mission Produce is also partnering with Avocados From Mexico to connect its customers with point-of-sale merchandising, bags and display bins to support in-store promotions to ensure Cinco de Mayo is a profitable time for all involved.

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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