Australian Hass avocados are back and it’s shaping up to be the biggest season yet.
Avocado growers are expecting 8 million more kilograms of Hass avocados to hit supermarket shelves this season compared to last year. The nine per cent increase on last year’s crop from 87,000 tonnes to 95,000 tonnes (April 2019 - March 2020) is partly thanks to growers planting on mass over the past five to six years to meet Australia’s skyrocketing demand for avocados.
“It’s going to be a good year for avocado lovers,” Avocados Australia CEO, John Tyas said. “It takes about three or four years for an avocado tree to start bearing commercial crops and a lot of avocado trees have gone into the ground in the last five years, particularly in Queensland and WA, to keep up with the insatiable demand for avocados we have in Australia."
Mr Tyas says Australians are becoming savvier with their food choices and are starting to see avocados for their nutritional value as well as their taste.
"This season, we’re looking at a bumper Hass harvest from our growing regions in Western Australia as well as South Australia and Victoria. There are also large supplies coming out of North and coastal Central Queensland now, and New Zealand later on in the season.”
Known for their purple skin and creamy texture, new season Hass avocados will be back from this week, as they replace the green - skinned Shepard avocados, which have been the main avocado variety available to shoppers since late February. Shepard fans have a couple more weeks to get their hands on the green fruit before their season comes to an end for 2019.
While smashed avo remains a café and breakfast favourite, Mr Tyas says new health benefits are being discovered.
“Avocados have so many nutrients that can improve our diets every day. They’re also particularly good for pregnant women, and are a great nutritious first food for babies,” he said.
He adds that the vitamins and minerals found in a single serve of avocado assist with infant growth and development, brain function, muscles and nerves, bones and teeth, vision, skin and hair, healthy gut, immunity development and the absorption of iron. The nutrient dense fruit is also rich in good fats, which are great for the waistline and help maintain heart health.