Chile makes biggest gains in avocado exports to Japan
Chile had the biggest increase in terms of volume and value for avocado exports to Japan compared with other countries, according to a market analysis by the Chilean Agriculture Ministry in Japan.
Although avocado is not part of the traditional Japanese diet, the fruit has gained a foothold thanks to a focus on health and nutrition in promotional campaigns in the last decade.
The avocado market has grown on average about 16% a year for the last 10 years. In 1999, shipments worth US $18.8 million were imported, and in 2009, that figure rose to US $89.8 million.
The majority of avocados marketed in Japan come from Mexico, followed by Chile and New Zealand. Japan received avocados all year, with Mexico covering the first nine months almost exclusively. Chile and New Zealand share the rest of the year.
In 2009, Japan imported 30,000 tons of avocados, which represented an increase of 1.2% compared with the year before, and were worth US $83 million.
Although the volume and value of avocados have risen for all countries, last year Chilean avocados had the biggest comparative gains.
The analysis said that despite the growing popularity of avocados, there are many who still don’t know how to eat or prepare them. Therefore, supermarkets sell them with cards showing the precise color for eating, and hold campaigns with easy recipes.