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Avocado buyer, Evy Van Gastel, Special Fruit
"Mini avocados simply more festive during the holidays"
The 'small but great' idea is also catching on in the fruit and vegetable world. There is an increasing number of mini versions of fresh products. This includes the avocado. Belgian importer, Special Fruit, has been selling baby avocados for a few years now. They are trying to make this small avocado more popular among the general public. This is going very well, according to this company, which is based in the village of Meer.
This then mainly concerns the smaller sizes that Special Fruit trades in. "These are the 26, 28 and 32 sizes", says Special Fruit's Avocado Buyer, Evy Van Gastel. "We are trying to draw more attention to these baby avocados. We are using new packaging and communication about the existence of this product to the consumer to do this. Sales are, at least, going smoothly at the moment."
In 2016, the company noticed that the mini-avocados were selling better than before. By changing the packaging, the product got a major boost, according to Evy. "Last year we introduced net bags and it definitely caught on", she continues. "There is about 700 grammes of baby avocados in a net bag. This is suitable for a large household, but also for smaller ones, where avocado is eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even dessert."
The small avocados come from various parts of the world. Whether it is a regular avocado or a mini one, the variety remains the same. "Both kinds are of the Hass variety", says Evy. "We buy from countries like Chile, Peru, South Africa, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Israel or Kenya. After we have imported the avocados, we sell them in Belgium, but also in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Most of the baby avocados are sold in nets. Conventionally - not ripened, but hard and green. The customer ripens them, themselves, at home. Since they are smaller, unripened sizes, the mini avocados can be sold relatively inexpensively compared to the larger, ripened loose ones. These avocados are so popular because of their creamy texture and rich taste. This is also the case with the mini version. You could even say their taste is more concentrated in comparison with the larger variety."
Evy says the smaller avocados are available through the year. They come in 10 kg boxes, along with the regular sizes, via sea freight. The quality is, according to Evy, very good. "We have not had any problems with quality yet. This is also the case with the regular sizes", she says. "We never want anything but top A-quality because this is what all our customers demand. Prices depend on the season and availability. Currently we are in a high price market. Prices for 10 kg baby Hass varies from EUR 19 to EUR 23."
Mini is popular
According to Evy, there is a trend around mini fruit and vegetables. This is one of the reasons why the baby avocados are doing so well at the moment. "Avocados' popularity certainly have an influence on the sales and the success of the mini version", she says. "If we look at the volumes, we can see a sharp increase in the volumes that leave daily from here. In addition, the avocado is a very trendy product at the moment. It is being used in an increasing number of different dishes. While, in the past, only being used in a salad, you now see it being added to smoothies, chocolate mousse or being put on toast. Baby avocados are perfect for this. It is also a budget item, and its size makes it ideal for a snack. Baby avocados are also more popular during the festive season because people opt more for refined cuisine. Smaller portions are more popular. In this way, presenting a halved baby Hass filled with prawn cocktail is just that much more refined than doing so with the larger version."
For more information:
2321 Meer (Belgium)
T: +32 3 315 07 73
F: +32 3 315 08 43
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