Despite ailing sales in 2020 due to Covid-19, the humble avocado is expected to achieve a home run for the Super Bowl season, bringing trade back up to normal levels over the weeks leading up to this annual sporting event.
The NFL Super Bowl, due to take place on 7th February 2021, is one of the largest sporting spectacles in the world. Despite many sports bars being closed or having restrictions placed on numbers, the event is still anticipated to be as well supported as ever with a huge number of households tuning in to watch the game.
Alongside the traditional celebrations around the game, US Super Bowl viewers consume close to 48,000 Metric Tonnes (MT) of avocados in the form of guacamole in a single day. By comparison, the average import volume of the fruit per month is 80,000 MT meaning that the Super Bowl is the biggest single consumption day for the avocado in the calendar. Every January imports of this green fruit surge by around 30% with warehouses starting to see the increase from around mid-December.
Despite California grown avocados increasing in popularity and yield, their season finishes in November meaning that Mexico becomes the largest supplier, representing around 95% of the total avocados consumed in the US. This longer growing season means that Mexico is able to fulfil the dramatic increase in supply with the vast majority arriving from the Michoacán state (currently the only state certified by the American government under strict export rules).
Whilst Covid-19 has hit overall demand throughout the season due to restaurant closures, Maria Castanedas, VP of MexWorld Consulting, a major trader from Michoacán, expects consumption during Super Bowl to be unaffected. “There is certainly going to be less consumption by the sports bars but, based on the amount of avocados that have been negotiated with us so far, I feel no notable change in the demand and people are still going to enjoy their bowl of guacamole in their homes.” Export volumes are expected to be around 120,000 MT in January 2021.
Data from Tridge has revealed that exports to the US have taken a significant fall during 2020. The last five years have seen yearly increases in export volumes of around 10% but in 2020 this fell to just 2%, resulting in a surplus of product in the Michoacán region.
The only likely challenge to the success of the avocado exports to the US during the run up to Super Bowl is the lack of available containers to transport the products over the border. This has been a direct result of the pandemic as imports to Mexico have reduced meaning a smaller number of containers have made their way back to Mexico, limiting logistics and making transportation more costly than 2019.
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