New avocado distribution center prepares for 2018 supply boost

As it readies itself for a healthy increase in avocado supply in 2018, a new avocado distribution center has opened in Charlotte, NC.

Henry Avocado Corp., based in Escondido, Ca. opened the new 25,000 square foot facility that comes complete with nine ripening rooms. In total, the facility, which is the company’s first distribution center east of Houston, Tex., can custom ripen more than 1 million cartons a year.

“Charlotte is a great location for distribution. It’s right on the freeways and it makes sense from a distribution standpoint,” says Henry Avocado’s Phil Henry.

Multiple supply sources
While the majority of avocados coming through will be sourced from Mexico, additional supplies will come from Peru, Chile and California. 

In total, after Mexico and California both experienced lower volumes in 2017, supply of avocados is anticipated to increase sharply in 2018. “For 2018, the projections are for more volume from Mexico due to more production from groves,” says Henry. 

“Mexico continues to plant more acreage and as the acreage matures, the growth produces more fruit per acre. In addition, they are certifying more of their existing growths for export to the U.S.” 

Gabriel del Salto, Henry Avocado's co-manager in Charlotte, moving a pallet of "Bravocado" avocados.

California boost too
Add to that a California crop that’s anticipated to be double the size of last year’s crop—up to 400 million lbs. compared to this year’s 200 million—and good weather in Peru which may also produce more fruit. (Though Peru ships to a number of global regions including China and Europe.)

The demand is there—Henry notes that over the past 10 years, consumption of Hass avocados has grown approximately 9 per cent per year.

To process the avocados, Henry’s nine ripening rooms are key. Foodservice clients tend to order at stage 4s and 5s—4 being guacamole-ready while 4s are firmer and can be cut. Meanwhile retailers order at stages 2 and 3—2 is still firm and not quite ready to eat while 3 has some softness and will be ready in two days. The company anticipates some 80 per cent of its customers ordering avocados to a specific stage of ripeness.

For more information:
Phil Henry
Henry Avocado
+1 760 745 6632

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