Avocado is the best ingredient for a healthy diet during a pandemic.
Fruit consumption in Europe and the United States is reaching record highs.
Health-conscious consumers are eating avocados like never before during the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.
After a brief drop in demand at the start of the COVID crisis, consumption in Europe and the United States reached a record high, said Xavier Ekiua, CEO of the World Avocado Organization.
“Consumption is exceptional. People want to eat healthy. The new luxury after the pandemic will be healthy eating and well-being.
Demand for the fruit is accelerating as more consumers eat at home. It is no longer just an ingredient in guacamole for parties, its use extends to salads, burritos and, of course, hipster toast with avocado. Consumption in Europe will jump by 12% this year to a record 744 million tons, and demand in the United States will grow by 7%, Equiua said, citing forecasts in the industry.
The demand is driven not only by Generation Y. Now they have children who also eat avocados, ”says Equiu. Generation Z wants healthy food. We will see a new explosion in the next six to eight years, when Europe can catch up with Americans, who are leading consumers, he expects.
The value of global avocado imports has grown the fastest among the main fruits in the last ten years, said David Magana, a senior analyst at Rabobank International. Global demand for Hass, the most popular variety of avocado, will increase at an annual rate of nearly 5% by 2025, exceeding $ 8 billion globally, predicts Hass Avocado Board projects.
Fortunately for consumers, a good harvest in Mexico and California, which are the leading suppliers in the US market, has cut prices this year after supply disruptions in 2019, when prices peaked, Magana said. From 2010 to 2018, world production increased from 2.87 million tons to 6.4 million tons, and the area planted has almost tripled, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It excludes Chile, which is a significant producer. Although lower prices support demand, US market penetration may increase, Equiu said. The average American eats 3.6 kg. avocado per year compared to 9 kg. for Mexicans, he added.
One of the main challenges for the industry remains to ensure that supplies meet demand to prevent price increases, and at the same time must respond to criticism that some countries are expanding production using unsustainable environmental practices, Ekiua said.
“We are just beginning to penetrate Europe, China and other parts of Asia and Southeast Asia,” said Steve Barnard, CEO of Mission Produce, the world’s largest supply company, which owns packaging plants and also grows fruits. “India is starting to study avocado consumption, and given the population of these areas, expansion and demand have huge potential for growth,” he added.
To provide avocados throughout the year, the California-based company invests in countries such as Guatemala and Peru. Europe is “a great opportunity and one of the reasons I’m in Guatemala” to support enlargement, Barnard said.
The company’s annual sales have more than doubled in the last five years, and this gives Barnard reason to be optimistic even about China, where challenges remain. The company entered into a partnership with a local importer and retailer of the fruit and their joint venture Mr. Avocado is the first and currently only supplier of ripe avocados to the Asian giant.
Chinese consumers are very interested in the health benefits. China now considers avocados an ingredient in smoothies and baby food, while in the United States people use avocados to make a toast or guacamole, so the country continues to allow and get acquainted with the fruit, and consumption will continue to grow.