In addition to having grown exponentially in recent years, prospects in the global avocado market remain very positive. In fact, by the end of this decade, avocados are expected to become the most traded tropical fruit in the world and one of the commodities with the highest unit value.
However, the relative lack of diversity of products made from this fruit is striking. Without a doubt, its success has been based on its beneficial properties, but as Avolution Lab is showing, there is still a surprisingly great potential for growth.
"Avolution Lab is a global hub for open innovation that brings together all actors in the global avocado chain, from producers, marketers and gastronomes to compost manufacturers. It works in the development of new solutions featuring avocado as a raw material, with a commitment to sustainability," says Enrique García, CEO of The Avocado Guys, the company that has launched the hub in partnership with the Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Sevilla and Conecta Iberoamérica.
The Lab already has the backing of more than a dozen organizations, including the Spanish Tropical Fruit Association and the Mayor's Office of Morelia (capital of the Mexican state of Michoacán, the country's largest avocado producer), which signed a letter of intent to collaborate in the initiative.
The team of Avolution Lab.
Yohania De Armas, director of Conecta Iberoamerica, said that Avolution Lab will act as "a bridge between the productive sector and the industry and boost the reputation of the city of Seville in terms of progress."
Antonella Ruggiero, executive director of the Lab, said that the hub will allow partners, members and participants "to find the talent, human capital, knowledge and partnerships necessary to turn their ideas into a profitable and sustainable reality."
The physical headquarters of Avolution Lab are located at ESHS, on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. This is where the R+D+i team is working on the development of products to allow the use of the whole avocado, from the skin to the seed. We are talking about innovative solutions, including fermented products, liquors, flours, colorants, pickles, compost and fertilizers.
Iñaki Echeveste, director of the School, said that innovation based on knowledge and the generation of value have always been key to the training plans of the ESHS, and that is why they are "strongly committed to this project."
Fermín López, teacher and head chef at the School, said that "thanks to Avolution Lab, we have discovered new uses for the fruit. Until now it seemed that avocados were only good for guacamole and little else, and on the day of the laboratory's inauguration alone we prepared a menu with 20 sweet and savory options featuring avocados with different textures. Not even in restaurants exclusively dedicated to avocados is there such a variety."
"The Avolution Lab team is already working on delivering all the content through every necessary channel for the project to be known around the world. They are even in the process of signing new alliances with international organizations. There are many ways to grow, but we want to do it together," said Enrique.
The Avocado Guys, the company behind Avolution Lab, has already come a long way, having developed a line of unique avocado-based products: a mayonnaise, a butter and a cocoa cream with a fresh fruit content exceeding 50%.
Enrique says that after working on the product's stabilization, they have made it possible for fresh avocados with a shelf-life of 45 days to be preserved for 540 days without refrigeration and without any type of preservatives, while maintaining their lutein, fiber or (very important) vitamin E contents.
"It is a different way of consuming avocados that allows us to give a good use to second-rate fruit, while striving for zero waste and offering an alternative to consumers wanting to benefit from the properties of avocados in an easy way."
"We are working with the Escuela Superior de Hostelería de Sevilla to find new and very interesting possibilities, making the most of all the previous work we had already done at The Avocado Guys," because, as he says, "the healthy also has to be tasty."
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