The main avocado volumes from Peru are now arriving in the European market slightly later than was originally expected, giving the supply from South Africa slightly longer on a strong European market.
“South Africa and Peru are our two main supplying countries at the present time. The volumes from Peru were slightly late in getting established this season, partly because growers were waiting for the correct maturity but also because of the curfew that was imposed due to the Coronavirus, which slowed down packhouse operations and exports,” explains Mark Everett from Worldwide Fruit.
“We have suppliers from South Africa and Peru who have done a fantastic job ensuring supply and we are very happy with the quality of fruit we have received both on intake and during ripening.”
Imports from Peru were below what people were expecting at the start of the season, but things have picked up now.
Worldwide Fruit is a business with a strong retail focus and has not really been impacted by the closure of the food service sector. Retailers are selling more avocados either through stores or online with more people eating at home as cafes and restaurants are closed.
“Buying habits have changed as people are tending to go back to shopping once a week, we have seen an increase in sales of netted avocados for ripening at home and those pack types which have longer home life allowing people to shop less frequently. It is very much a case of educating people on how to ripen the fruit, especially those that are new to buying unripened fruit. Ripening instructions are placed on the packs so that customers know what to do.”
Worldwide Fruit launched the traffic light system for avocados with ASDA a few years ago. Customers were offered the same size and priced fruit but at different stages of ripeness and it seemed like an ingenious idea; Green- ready to eat, Amber- nearly ripe and Red-ripen at home but when it was launched 70% of the sales were in the ready to eat format.
“At the time the majority of people wanted to buy an avocado which was ready to eat right away, whereas now if you are buying ready to eat fruit you know you have 3-4 days life whereas the unripened typically has 7-8 days life. What’s important is that people have a great experience when they eat an avocado and instructions on the pack always helps.”
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