Advertorial: Subsole overcomes key challenges facing global avocado industry

October 15 , 2014

Subsole has a new niche marketing strategy which it says will target programs all over the world that are willing to pay for the superior quality of Chilean avocados, integrate innovative technologies like NIRS and IQ to help improve quality, and make the delicious GEM™ variety available to Chilean producers.

More than 150 Chilean producers attended a series of talks organized by the the exporter to provide technical sales updates for avocados, kicking off in the Valparaiso region and then moving over to the Central Zone. GEM 1

During the event, Subsole president Miguel Allamand spoke about the complicated situation in the Chilean avocado industry, which was not only experiencing water shortages which was causing a decline in growing land, but also growing demand that would continue to support the product all over the world.

Allamand said this scenario meant its would be fundamental for the industry to come up with new strategies and business alliances.

Among the commercial strategies Subsole is implementing in the Chilean market is a ripeness indicator, which aims to give customers the option of buying ready-to-eat avocados, or fruit with a few days left to mature.

Subsole commercial manager Juan Carlos Domínguez said the response had so far been very positive, since avoiding excessive handling from customers prevented the fruit from softening too quickly and therefore increased sales.

Avocado consumption trends have been evolving since the 1990s, when customers bought the fruit fresh before it had matured at all. Nowadays, consumers want their avocados ready to eat.

Subsole’s commercial manager for avocados and kiwifruit Oscar Villegas, explained that despite the many challenges of supplying ready-to-eat avocados, it was clearly important to do so as it had contributed greatly to increased global consumption. Consumption over the last decade has tripled in the fruit’s main consumer markets.

Addressing the challenge of how to bring more uniform fruit to international markets, Subsole invested in new technology to separate production by the stages of maturity – the IQ.

With NIRS (pictured right), foreign buyers benefit by not only seeing greater uniformity in the products they receive, but also more consistent ripening, with lower costs required at their end. GEM 2

According to Villegas, the marketing strategy for Chilean avocados has also changed.

“Thanks to the decline in Chilean production and the continuous increase in demand, Chile no longer has to compete with countries producing huge volumes, but instead can position itself as the home of higher quality avocados, selecting the best programs in Chile and other parts of the world that are willing to pay for superior Chilean quality,” he said.

“We have grown from a volume strategy, to a niche strategy.”

Meanwhile, Subsole zonal manager Carmen Gloria Luttges talked about the characteristics of the GEM™ avocado, a variety that promises to win over even the most critical of consumers with its creamy taste.

GEM™ is an excellent choice for producers, introducing less variance in production, better quality, and an increased production per hectare.

Related article: Advertorial: Chilean avocado growers discover new Gem™

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