Avocado market grows on Chile's doorstep

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Avocado market grows on Chile's doorstep

While Chile's avocado industry has built a good reputation in the U.S. and Europe, one of it's strongest growing markets is just next door - Argentina.

Chile exported 7,000 metric tons (MT) of the fruit across the Andes during the 2010/11 season, according to iQonsulting executive director Isabel Quiroz.

The shipment represents a 24.8% rise on the previous year, following 125.5% growth from the 08/09 season.

Quiroz told www.freshfruitportal.com Argentina now accounts for 8% of Chile's avocado exports, making it a larger market than Spain and England.

"The fact that it is a day by truck converts it into a natural extension of our market and if we consider the growth potential it has, we can't ignore it," she says.

"The consumer has placed the product in a category other than the local avocado, reaching higher prices with growing demand.

"Although the Argentine diet has as a larger portion of beef than the Chilean diet, there aren't substantial differences, and therefore the main combination in salads and sandwiches is easy to achieve."

Argentine consumers eat an average of 200 grams of the fruit per year, while the average Chilean ate 6kg of avocadoes in 2009-10.

"Finally, because the trend to eat healthy has crossed all borders, and the incorporation of food with functionality for health, it's better received."

Related stories: Uptick expected for Chilean avocadoes in 2011-12

Opinion: Chile's domestic market here to stay


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