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The Gradual Momentum of a ‘Green’ Market

By José Armando López - APEAM


By José Armando Lopez Orduña | CEO - Fri, 05/12/2023 - 09:00

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Mexican avocado is one of the most popular foods worldwide — and not by chance. In addition to its delicious flavor and nutritional properties, its fame is the result of the work of producers, packers, inspectors and authorities from the countries involved in its exportation; moreover, of efforts to promote the fruit and its consumption as well as the thousands of other people involved in its production and marketing.

Among the nutritional benefits of avocado is the high lipid content (12 to 24%), which helps cleanse the body of bad fats, preventing them from sticking in arteries and clogging them. The fruit also contains monounsaturated fatty acids that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and provides minerals to the body, such as potassium (essential for muscle contraction and proper functioning of the nervous system), as well as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and sodium.

In 2022, the Mexican fruit was traded in 51 countries and since 1997, its production has tripled in Mexico, according to the country’s Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry (SADER). Of all the avocados produced, the majority are exported to the US, which at the end of last year represented almost 80%, with a value of US$2.87 billion. In fact, the US is one of the largest avocado importers in the world. In 2021, it was at the top of the market, according to Statista.

As the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) is the only local cooperative partner of the US to trade the fruit there, we are recognized by its Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) agency. Among our activities are to link and promote the consumption of the fruit, not only in that country, but throughout the world. We place special emphasis on our neighboring country to the north, Canada, Japan and China.

In addition, before the global confinement, the avocado had already become the second-most exported product from Mexico to Japan, with Mexico being its main supplier of the fruit, which contributed greatly to Japan  becoming the third-most important country as a destination for  Mexican agri-food exports, after the United States and Canada, according to SADER.

Another organization involved in the exportation process is the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA), which is ubicated in Washington, D.C.  Its mission is to provide high-quality fruit to the US.

Together, our organizations support the marketing, development and market research programs for avocado. In 2013, we worked together to create the company Avocados From Mexico (AFM), under the supervision of the USDA, to serve as an ambassador of the Mexican fruit business in the US and coordinate promotional activities for it. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas, and it brings together expert tradesmen in the food and consumer packaged goods industries.

Since its creation, AFM has promoted avocado consumption based on marketing strategies. For example, it creates commercials that are broadcast during the US American football championship (Super Bowl). This time is also when avocado is consumed the most by football fans as a snack prepared guacamole-style.

Another date on which high consumption of avocado occurs is May 5, probably due to the commemoration of the triumph of Mexico in the "Battle of Puebla" against France in the year 1862, which could be explained by the large number of people originating from Mexico who live in the US. For example, a Mexican family established in Chicago, Illinois, usually eats the fruit that day with grilled meat to celebrate, although they also buy it frequently to have it at home  for breakfast or lunch.

For this commemoration, Avocados From Mexico designs special promotional campaigns, including the CincoCelebration website. . It is a didactic and very attractive initiative with a dynamic format that contains data, tips, recipes and advice on how to split the avocado, how to store it, and preserve it, among others. It even allows the user to "practice" these activities through a simulator.

This year, the organization will provide marketing support to trade partners of the fruit and provide all they need in order to empower its sales. One of the incentives is weekend travel awards throughout 2023.

The organization has also made commercials to promote the fruit and its benefits to increase its consumption in other countries. Currently, Canada is Mexico’s second-largest trade partner, followed by Japan; while we are Canada’s third-leading commercial partner, after the US and China.

In addition to containing "good" fats for the body, avocado is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. The dissemination of its benefits, as well as its versatility in terms of consumption, together with the promotion by its fans, will continue to drive the growth of this industry, whose production in Mexico is estimated to average annual growth of 3.49% until 2030, according to SADER estimates

Photo by:   José Armando López

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