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IX World Avocado Congress

Biggest problem facing avocado sector in coming years will be supply, not demand

The second day of the IX World Avocado again saw many interesting speakers take to the various stages and the sessions were very well attended, as were the trade show stands.

As well as sessions on post harvest monitoring and increasing shelf-life, water use and the effective pruning of trees, there were sessions on Marketing avocados in markets around the world.

Patric Cortez - Mission Produce, Timothy Spann - California Avocado Commission, Alvero Luke - Avocados from Mexico and Xavier Equihua - Avocados from Peru

Speakers gave examples of the marketing campaigns in the US where specific groups and big events such as the Superbowl and national holidays are targeted. It was also interesting to hear how various competing suppliers, Avocados from Mexico, the Californian Avocado Commission and Avocados from Peru are willing to work together to promote the category and grow consumption. They all agree that the biggest problem facing the avocado sector in coming years will be supply, not demand. 

Several big US retailers also shared experiences in encouraging consumer demand for the fruit.

Mark de Costa - Costco, Guillermo Aguirre - Walmart, Carlos Landono - Chipotle and Zac Bard - Westfalia.

There was a session on marketing avocados in China, a market with huge potential but also very high quality demands. One retailer is planning a promotion for the Chinese Singles day on 11th November and hopes to achieve sales of 600,000 avocados in one day.

Tommy Padilla - Mission Produce, Peter Zhu - Pagoda, John Wang - Mr Avocado/ Lantao and Zac Bard - Westfalia.

Europe is the second biggest market for avocados behind the US and still has huge room for growth, but avocados, as the celebrity of the produce aisle, receive positive coverage in the national press, an unusual thing for a fruit, but it also quick to draw bad press especially in these days of social media.

Colombia and Africa were discussed as emerging markets which have the potential to substantially increase production in the coming years.

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