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Chinese prefer smaller avocados

Viocar, a small family company based in California, specialised in the production and export of avocados, was recently in China, where according to Juan Carlos Pérez, “we have been trying to create a circle connecting China, the U.S. and Mexico to help my company become a good option to do international business with.”

Juan Carlos, of Mexican origin and traditionally involved in the avocado sector, believes that “the Chinese market has great potential for avocados. In Mexico, the Avocado Producers, Packers and Exporters Association, APEAM, has devoted many resources into developing the U.S. market, while only 3 or 4 packing houses are selling to China.”

APEAM’s resources focus on showing U.S. consumers the health benefits of avocados, as well as recipes for using them. “We started providing assistance to open web accounts and translating the recipes into Chinese to bring them to Chinese consumers. I believe this market is so huge, that entering just one city, like Shanghai, would entail great potential,” affirms Juan Carlos.

In terms of capacity, Viocar is able to supply around 1,000 tonnes in high season, but has contacts with several packing houses certified to ship to China. Juan Carlos assures that “there are many others which are USDA-certified and are exporting to the U.S., and it is strange that not many have looked to China; that is why I’m looking to get a share of it.”

When looking to market in China, however, it is worth taking into account that consumer preferences differ. Juan Carlos explains that “in the U.S., we sell sizes from 48 to 60, and some 40, but not the smaller 70 and 84, which are popular in China. Prices in China are also inflated due to excess of intermediaries and to the fact that, unlike in the U.S., the price is not changeable on a weekly basis.”

Viocar’s strategy in China has been aimed towards contacting and signing deals with supermarkets, organising events to show how to use avocados, from ways to peel them to how to increase their shelf life, as well as their many benefits. “To appreciate them, customers need to understand the whole process the fruit went through, as well as the best conditions to make it ready for consumption,” concludes Juan Carlos Parra.

Juan Carlos Parra Peres
Tel: 0086 15221 295806