Chilean avocados to reach Chinese shores this week

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Chilean avocados to reach Chinese shores this week

Importer Lantao is expecting the season's first container of Chilean avocados to arrive in Guangzhou this week, as it continues to promote simple and tasty uses of the fruit in everyday Chinese cuisine. Chinese toddler with avocado 1

With fruit sourced through its partnership with Mission Produce, Lantao plans to release a short video next month showing people how they can use avocados in Chinese recipes.

"We have very special things coming out – avocados are still young in China. We still need to educate the consumer how to use them," Lantao CEO John Wang told during the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit in Atlanta over the weekend.

"I'm not a chef but I can tell you a few things, which are normally very easy to do. For example, right now in China the young kids like smoothies, so what they're doing is using one banana, one avocado, throwing them in a blender and adding a cup of milk. That's it.

"Another special one is avocado rice. Basically the peeled avocado is chopped very thin and then they wash the rice so that when they're doing the steamed rice they put the avocado into the mix. When it's steamed it becomes avocado rice."

Jim Provost of U.S.-based company I Love Produce, who works with Lantao on its program, has also come up with an idea that has shown positive signs in the Chinese market.

"Avocados are traditionally from Mexico and one of the big ways they consume avocados is in chicken soup - you cut an avocado in half and put a slice right into the soup," Provost said.

"I said, 'John, everybody in China eats soup at least once a day, so we need to get people used to the idea of putting avocado in soup, and then consumption will go through the roof'.

"That's what his team has been doing, promoting people to use it in soup and it's really been a winner."

Wang said Lantao's avocado volumes had increased at a rate of 400% every year, and forecast total supply from Chile, Mexico and Peru would double or triple in 2015-16.

He also highlighted the success of a recent supermarket demonstration from a Mexican-American woman, who is a friend of a Mission Produce employee, showing consumers how to make guacamole.

Provost added Lantao would also be sponsoring the International Table Soccer Federation's Shanghai Open in December.

"We want to promote healthy eating in conjunction with the sport. Neil Millman (I Love Produce) and myself are going to actually enter as players in the tournament," he said.

"We’re not top ranked in the world but Neil and I think we're going to surprise some people because they haven't seen our game."

Readers can click here for more stories from PMA Fresh Summit 2015.


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