We are currently at the junction between several origins on the avocado market. “In the winter in France, we find origins such as Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Those origins have been on the market for a few months now and are about to end. We also started importing Mediterranean origins like Morocco, Israel and Spain. So we have six origins on the market at the moment,” explains François Bellivier of Capexo.
Depending on the origins, the quality of the avocados available on the market varies. “The Mediterranean origins should not be a problem. Morocco, Spain and Israel benefit indeed from a more direct logistics with shorter transportation times. So naturally, the merchandise is more fresh when it arrives on the French market. However, it is now raining in Morocco and in Spain, which is slowing down the harvest, and we could still face a cold snap. But for the moment, we already received some good feedback from our clients for these origins.”
Regarding the Mexican origin however, quality problems can be more frequent. “It only takes 3 to 4 days for a truck to bring the avocados from Mexico to the United States, while 3 to 4 weeks are needed by boat to ship the product to the European market. The ripening process is very important and determines the quality of the avocado. But it is not always very successful, which prevents us from offering a consistent quality, unless the merchandise is sorted relatively carefully.”
Although the production from Chile is also shipped by boat over several weeks, the country offers a more consistent quality. “The quality of the merchandise from Chile is very good. But it is also the most expensive one because the domestic market is very developed.” As for Colombia, the season was good in terms of quality compared to the previous years.
The quality of the avocados on the market is therefore very heterogeneous at the moment, depending on the origins. “This is a problem in France. I believe that offering a more consistent quality represents the key to increase consumption in France in the future.”
Some calibers more valued
Prices tend to go up since the beginning of the year. But the avocado consumption remained regular during the holidays. “Avocados are now consumed all year round, so consumers no longer need to buy it at Christmas. But consumption was quite good, especially thanks to the regular promotional actions in the stores. We note however that the demand for small calibers has been more sustained for about two weeks, mainly on the Northern European market. It is not the case in France where the 22 caliber for example does not sell easily at all since its main clientele is the restaurant sector.”