Avocado consumption climbs with plenty of headroom for growth ahead, says Rabobank

Monthly avocado shipments to the US market hit record highs in January 2021, registering 33% volume growth compared to the same month a year prior, according to Rabobank.

In March 2021, volume shipments declined slightly but remained elevated at 20% more shipments than 12 months prior.

“Both shipments and wholesale prices increased month-on-month during March, suggesting stronger demand for avocados as the US economy rapidly recovers, consumers visit grocery stores more frequently, foodservice activities increase, and pandemic-related restrictions lift,”​ writes David Magaña, senior analyst, fresh produce and tree nuts, Rabobank in a report​.

Growing appeal of avocados

While demand for avocados typically peaks during specific events and holidays (e.g. Super Bowl weekend), there is expanding consumer demand for avocado beyond guacamole and avocado toast, says Magaña.

Per capita consumption of avocado has grown at a CAGR of 8% of the past decade – in 2010, per capita consumption of avocados in the US was roughly 4 lbs., in 2018 it was close to 8.5 lbs. and Rabobank estimates that the number could exceed 11 lbs per person by 2026.

Household penetrations of avocados in the past 12 months was about 40%, still a lower rate than other fruit such as apples and bananas which registered a nearly 66% household penetration, according to Rabobank which cited recent industry surveys​.

Shifting generational food preferences are also driving the trend towards increased avocado consumption, said Magaña.

In the US, Generation Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations.”

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