An aerial view of a Mexican avocado orchard
Avocados from Mexico
Rafael Márquez – for AFM’s national shopper campaign, ‘Guackeepers Keep it Good,’ being featured on displays across local grocery stores. The pair also helped announce the #AlwaysGood Guac Giveaway. Where next? Faced with strong competition and relatively high prices, where does the Mexican avocado sector go from here? In the case of Frutícola Velo, Ricardo Vega says there is cause for optimism with the company’s direct entry into two U.S. grocery chains, which he says will help establish more stable programs. With greater availability in recent months, he is also confident Mexico as a whole can retake market share lost to Peru during the summer with prices at around $25 per carton. “We’ve seen that at this price the avocados move very well in terms of volume and pricing,” he says. “The bigger volumes will allow us to compete more effectively against Peru and Colombia, which year-on-year are increasing production.” The addition of Jalisco should complement Michoacán production, Vega says, broadening the supply for buyers and making Mexico as a whole more competitive in the process. This expansion in production areas, as well as consistency of supply, is helping exporters such as Velo grow market share in North America.
He says further growth can be achieved in the U.S. by highlighting the versatility of the avocado to combine with different meal occasions, from avocado toast to a complement for evening dining. This, he says, can be built around traditional high-consumption calendar dates such as the Super Bowl. Another important opportunity going forward is in- creasing consumption during November and December, which coincides with the availability of high volumes from Mexico. The principal motivating factor, says Vega, has been the participation of grocery retailers with in-store promotions, as well as very competitive pricing for the fruit. “The demand for avocados hasn’t reached its limit in the U.S., but the challenge is to target new generations who have different buying habits,” he says. Fernando Flores also sees further growth as being achievable in the U.S., and he advocates investment in online resources to reach target consumers. “In- formation through the internet and web pages is key: whether that be on facts, recipes or health character- istics, and this is information we need to share with consumers,” he says. Mexico exporters are expanding across the country and working to diversify their markets and send higher vol- umes of fruit to destinations around the world. Overall, the sector may have faced headwinds recently, but the signs point to a future in which it flourishes.
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