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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Avocados star of Super bowl

Tuesday, February 03, 2015 > 11:04:01

(Fresh Plaza)

Avocado’s popularity is on the rise and at the Super Bowl you couldn’t miss it. Avocado producers have taken great pains to ensure that the ripe fruit is available year-round, even during winter.

Millions of people saw the Super Bowl in the U.S., the industry group Avocados From Mexico had a Super Bowl ad at $4.5 million for 30 seconds of airtime.

In the past decade, the creamy green fruit has soared in popularity across North America. Riding the dual waves of a Mexican cuisine boom and growing demand for healthy food. While avocados are now on many restaurant menus and a common sight ripening on kitchen counters, they were once considered a delicacy in North America.

“It’s been a heck of a ride, watching this,” said Dave Austin, director of marketing for the southern California-based Mission Avocados. “I’ve worked with a lot of produce over the years: potatoes, apples and onion. And I’ve never seen growth like this.”

Until about five years ago, the avocados that growers shipped to stores were mostly hard green pellets that required days of ripening before they were edible. When industry research showed that consumers wanted to eat the fruit within a day of purchase, firms like Mission Avocado set up ripening centres where the fruit is warehoused until it’s soft enough to mash up into dip.

Producers also expanded the range of countries that could grow avocados. Where the fruit used to come mainly from California, countries like Mexico, Peru, Chile and New Zealand have gotten into the game.

If enough bowls of guacamole are drained around the NFL’s 49th annual championship game – and enough slices of avocado are slapped onto burgers and sandwiches – a new U.S. record will be set for consumption of the green pear-shaped fruit.

Promoters predict Americans will collectively eat 120 million pounds, or roughly 240 million avocados based on its typical 8-ounce weight, said Jan DeLyser, a spokeswoman for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission.


Canadian imports nearly tripled between 2004 and 2013, from 19,140 to 57,520 tonnes, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians now consume almost 250 million avocados a year. As the Washington Post reported last week, Americans are even more ravenous for the things: last year they ate some 4.25 billion. (That’s compared to about 28.5 billion bananas a year.)

In November 2014, more than 95 per cent of the avocados imported to Canada were from Mexico. Peru has a much bigger profile in the summer, during Mexico’s down season, reaping more than a quarter of Canada’s imports last August.

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