China-based Mr. Avocado is continuing its rapid expansion of the market, recently launching in Hema supermarkets, which belong to online retail giant the Alibaba Group.
Mr. Avocado was formed by one of China’s leading import companies Lantao International Trade, along with fruit retailer Pagoda and California-based company Mission Produce.
Mexican avocados will be sold at Hema stores in a ‘Double Fruit Gift Box’, which is currently selling for RMB33.90 (US$5.30).
Hema is a “new retail” concept that has come along with Alibaba’s restructuring to “offline supermarkets.” The stores include a supermarket, a restaurant, and a produce market, but orders can also be placed in the Hema app to be delivered within a 3-kilometer radius in just 30 minutes.
The launch follows Mr. Avocado’s debut in JD.com’s new “offline supermarket” 7Fresh in February this year, according to a spokesperson of the joint venture.
Mr. Avocado is the first brand in the Chinese market for ready-to-eat avocados. It was introduced in April last year with one ripening center in Shanghai, with a second ripening center due to be opened in southern China later this year.
Aside from its partner, Pagoda – which owns thousands of high-end stores around the country selling only fruit – Mr. Avocado has already collaborated with Ole, 7Fresh, MissFresh to sell the fruit in their stores.
The spokesperson said there would be more collaborations to come with large-scale supermarkets and high-end fruit chains.
The company also recently established an avocado farm in Yunnan in the southwest of the country – its first foray into domestic production. The operations will be run under the name Yunnan Avocado Agriculture Development Limited.
Earlier this year representatives of the company also visited South Africa to explore how to import fruit from the country once market access is gained, which is expected in the near future.