Spain: Frutas Montosa and the success of guacamole

Avocados are a fashionable food item. They are very commonly consumed by those who pursue a healthy lifestyle and are often in the spotlight on Instagram at breakfast time. In recent years, their consumption has grown substantially across Europe, causing the demand to skyrocket. And some Spanish companies have also benefited from this boom.

Frutas Montosa, Mercadona's interprovider of avocados and its popular guacamole, is one of them. Founded in Valle-Niza (Vélez-Málaga) in 1982 by José Luis Montosa, the company has managed to multiply its turnover over the past few years. In 2017, it invoiced 119.7 million Euro, obtaining a profit of 4.5 million. In 2010, its sales still stood at 45.5 million.

Such figures have not been reached only thanks to consumption in Spain, but also to the export of part of the production. The parent company, José Luis Montosa S.L., carries out the firm's main activities; that is, the running of agricultural farms and the sale of fruits and vegetables, as well as the elaboration of guacamole and mango sauce for their later sale, both in Spanish territory and in any foreign country.

The key is the microclimate
The parent company has two firms under its umbrella: Avo France Sarl, with headquarters in Perpignan, France, and Montosa Ruiz S.L., founded less than a year ago and based in Frutas Montosa's facilities in Valle-Niza (Vélez-Málaga).

But how do you get to invoice almost 120 million Euro selling avocados? One of the keys lies in the more than 76,000 square meters of land that the company has in this town in Malaga, "where we have a unique microclimate that is suitable for the cultivation of avocados," explains the company in its own description. In fact, Malaga and Granada stand out as being among the few Spanish provinces where 'green gold' is grown, accounting for 90% of the crop's production.

According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2016 Spain produced 83,800 tons of avocados, which is 2,000 tons more than in 2015. About 20% is intended for domestic consumption and the rest is exported.

Frutas Montosa saw in time that the demand in Europe was on the rise. In 1990, it made the leap into the French market. "Only a consumer as sophisticated as the French could get it from the beginning," claims the company.

The success of guacamole
One of the company's big successes is its guacamole. "We were the first to introduce the technique for the processing of avocados and we ended up having the best guacamole on the market," says Frutas Montosa in its own description. It was in 2007 when, according to the company, "we reinvented guacamole," applying a technology that allowed them to move forward in the prevention of oxidation.

Reinventing it or not, the truth is that they managed to attract Mercadona's attention in 2011. "When you have products of the highest quality, you get the best partners to bet on you," they say. And the retail chain chaired by Juan Roig also guaranteed them success. Seven years later, they are still interproviders for the Valencian retailer. They have also been supplying them with mango sauce (one of their latest releases) for the past two years.

Thus, Frutas Montosa is one of the 249 production facilities that work specifically for Mercadona. According to the Valencian chain in its 2017 report, over the past year it spent 6.3 million Euro on the expansion of facilities and the guacamole production line at the Valle-Niza farm.

With almost 400 employees, the company says in its management report that last year's results "were not as good as would be desirable, but given the growing competition in the market, we consider them acceptable, even though we aim to improve in the future." So far, its turnover has not stopped growing.



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