It’s anticipated that Colombia will ship more avocados this year compared to last year. Currently, the country is shipping 1-2 million pounds of avocados per week.
For Colombian avocados though, peak supply lies ahead. “The supply is comparable to last year but it is expected that volumes will increase during the remainder of the calendar year and surpass last year’s total volume,” says Manuel Michel, executive director of the Colombia Avocado Board.
Photo: Colombia Avocado Board
Michel adds that since 2019, Colombia has worked towards getting not only its avocados approved to ship to the U.S. market but also to get more orchards and packing houses certified to increase the shipments. “We are starting to see the difference that 40 orchards versus 400+ orchards make in terms of the volume available,” says Michel.
While Colombian avocados are available year-round, there are variations in harvest size during distinct times--the main growing season is from September to January with a secondary “traviesa” season from May to July. “There’s no doubt that building an industry reputation and creating trial is our first challenge. As a newcomer to the industry, we recognize many buyers still haven’t tried Colombia avocados, so they don’t know what to expect in quality and taste. We believe we have worked to build a program that will meet and exceed their expectations for both,” says Michel.
Other regions shipping
Along with Colombia, Mexico and Peru are also shipping avocados to the U.S. California is also shipping fruit but its season is soon ending.
Meanwhile, demand continues to be strong for avocados. “We are seeing more and more Colombia fruit in the marketplace throughout the United States with reports up and down the East Coast and even in places like the Pacific Northwest, continuing to prove that the market is eager for more avocado choices,” says Michel. Overall consumption also seems to be limitless. “Every level of consumer from a first-time avocado buyer to a super user continues to find new ways to enjoy avocados in a variety of dishes and applications. It’s exciting to be part of an industry with a fruit that is universally enjoyed in so many ways from appetizers and main dishes to desserts. I don’t think many of us could have considered the possibility for avocado pudding or ice cream just 10 years ago.”
Photo: Colombia Avocado Board
As for pricing, while the 10-year market for avocados is up right now, currently the market is seeing a slight downward trend.
Looking ahead, demand is anticipated to stay strong though. “We don’t foresee any major changes. Colombia is entering the peak of its main growing season,” says Michel, adding it’s eager to work with retailers in establishing customized promotional programs to grow overall Colombia avocado consumption in retail and foodservice. “Colombia has a tropical climate marked by regular rainfall versus irrigation, so weather can play a factor. However, avocados in Colombia are produced in nearly a dozen different growing regions and multiple elevations to facilitate optimal crop opportunities for year-round supply.”