Florida avocado volume back to normal

Florida avocado volume back to normal

Volume of Florida’s green-skin avocados is back to normal this year, following tight supplies last season spurred by Hurricane Irma.

Florida growers are expected to produce about 800,000 bushels of avocados between June and April.

Last year’s crop was reduced by about 40% as a result of the hurricane.

Brooks Tropicals accounts for about 40% of that volume, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing.

The company has trademarked the name SlimCado for its green-skin avocados, which are hydrocooled to extend shelf life, she said.

SlimCados have less fat and fewer calories than hass avocados, she added.

They’re available from Florida from June through March, and they’re sourced from the Dominican Republic from October until May.

“We sell SlimCados year-round,” Ostlund said.

The avocados “recovered nicely from the storm,” and were “looking great” this summer.

Size and quality both were up to the company’s standards, she said.

“It’s all thumbs up.”

While the South and East Coast are the major markets for SlimCados, more and more of the fruit seems to be headed west, she said.

Jessie Capote, vice president and owner of Miami-based J&C Tropicals, is happy to see a “normal” avocado season once again.

“Volumes are back to where they historically should be,” he said. “Last year, we were suffering from the post-Hurricane Irma effect.”

He described this year’s crop as “healthy.”

July and August are big promotional months for avocados, he added.

“We’ve been seeing them fly out the door.”

He expected good volume to continue through December.

J&C Tropicals will start bringing in similar varieties from the Dominican Republic in the fall, but Capote said many of his customers support Florida product until the transition is completed.

Florida avocado are sold throughout the U.S., he said.

“We’ve gotten as far out as California with the green-skin avocados from Florida,” he said.

When the price of hass avocados from growing areas like California and Mexico starts rising, consumers may seek out fruit from Florida, he said.

“You get a bigger bang for your buck in terms of how much fruit you get,” he said.

Florida avocados are bigger than hass, weighing on average about 1 pound, Ostlund said.

And consumers are happy with how slowly they tend to turn brown, she said.

Brooks Tropicals SlimCados can be used instead of mayonnaise as a spread, she said.

Some restaurants serve a Florida avocado as a standalone side dish, Capote said, adding that they’re also great in salads or on a burger or to make avocado toast.