Suppliers expect strong avocado demand for Super Bowl

Suppliers expect strong avocado demand for Super Bowl

Avocado marketers anticipate the usual increase in demand next month leading up to the biggest guacamole consumption occasion of the year — the Super Bowl.

“At the field level we are seeing a much larger crop than last year, which is wonderful news for avocado lovers,” said Aaron Acosta, corporate relationship manager for the Texas division of Capistrano Beach, Calif.-based Stonehill Produce. “As an industry we are ready to celebrate, and we have the avocados to go big this year.”

Peter Shore, director of business development and marketing for Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers, expressed a similar sentiment.

“Excellent supplies are forecast — and quality records — leading up to big game,” Shore said. He added that Mexico will have great supplies in January, including organic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted numerous consumer behavior changes, but the expectation is that snacking on guacamole during football games won’t be one of them.

“This year is unpredictable due to the current climate; however, I am optimistic that avocados will still see a spike in demand at retail levels as people decide against large gatherings in favor of intimate ones,” said Joe Nava, vice president of sales and business development for Murrieta, Calif.-based West Pak Avocado. “We should see an increase in sales due to more shoppers bringing home avocados to ensure they have their favorite snack for the big game. So smaller gatherings but a lot more of them.”

Stephanie Bazan, vice president of trade and market development for Avocados From Mexico, noted a number of consumer trends that have taken root amid the pandemic: the acceleration of e-commerce, “the shift of the shopping mindset, with pre-shop becoming more critical for planning and inspiration,” and concern about finances.

“Consumers are looking for better value, safety and faster pick,” Bazan said. “In addition, there is also a shift in mindset with consumers needing avocados to stay fresh longer. This means that consumers may be shopping differently leading up to the big game, but we still expect guacamole to be a staple.”

Denise Junqueiro, senior director of marketing and communication for Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce, noted that a recent consumer survey by the company’s shopper insights team found that, while far fewer people are attending games this year due to social distancing restrictions, they are still engaged.

“What we’ve seen time and time again is one, people are going to continue to eat, they’re going to be eating in their homes, (and) they’re continuing to find ways to have celebratory moments and moments of enjoyment,” Junqueiro said. “Whether that means gatherings or not, I think that’s going to be up to individuals, but what I have seen is people get very creative.”