Avocados from Mexico back in the game

Agronometrics in Charts: ‘Avocados from Mexico’ back in the game

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Agronometrics in Charts: ‘Avocados from Mexico’ back in the game

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the impact of the 56th Superbowl on the projected volumes of imported avocados in the US. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

The Americans are revving up for the Super Bowl which is slated for February 13th this year. Owing to guacamole's role as a Super Bowl staple, avocado demand grows up to 40% every February. A whopping 140,000 tonnes of Mexican avocados are expected to be shipped to the United States in the lead-up to the 56th Super Bowl.

Compared to last season, however, lower incoming volumes have been recorded so far. As is evident from the graph below, week 4 saw about a 59 percent drop in volumes compared to last year. According to José Luis Gallardo, president of the Mexican Association of Avocado Producers, Packers and Exporters, exports are likely to pick up speed in early February. 

As claimed by the USDA GAIN report, the drop in volume can be attributed to the fact that growers are expecting needed tree recovery following record productivity and production (especially in the Michoacán region) in the MY 2020/21 season. Additionally, inadequate rainfall and soaring temperatures are impacting yields in non-Michoacan producing states.


 Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Prices in week 4 saw a 68 percent hike compared to last season. According to Melissa Reeves of the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, standard supply and demand issues are the culprit; issues such as truck and labor shortages are exacerbating the situation. 

      Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In the meanwhile, brands such as Avocados from Mexico are abuzz with fresh ideas for advertisements. Avocados from Mexico is offering its fans a first-hand look into the world of avocados through a virtual home experience titled ‘House of Goodness’. Customers can take a digital selfie with NFL quarterback Drew Brees, discover tasteful guacamole recipes and purchase avocados by virtue of this platform. Additionally, the brand came up with a one-minute teaser featuring Brees, who summons customers to the ‘house’ with QR codes. With marketing strategies such as these in motion, avocado sales are likely to surge come February. 

The avocado industry began publicizing guacamole as a ‘Super Bowl food’ back in the 1990s, soon after the NAFTA agreement began permitting avocados from the US' southern neighbor to enter the country in the winter. By 2008, Mexico had become the most prominent supplier of avocados to the U.S.

Thus, ever since the 90’s, January has been the forerunner of spikes in avocado sales. The fourth week of January traditionally witnesses peak volumes, compared to the rest of the year. This season is lagging about a week behind, as can be observed below, particularly because the Superbowl has been pushed into the second week of February for the first time since 2003. With this in mind, it would be logical to expect volumes peaking in week 5, just in time for the Superbowl.  

       Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics. (Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Each year, Americans consume around 139 million pounds (63 million kilograms) of avocados during the game. After a hiatus last year, Avocados from Mexico, which is responsible for 95 percent of avocado sales in the US has made a glorious come back with rampant marketing tactics in place. It would thus be logical to anticipate a hike in volumes within the next two weeks. The Superbowl is viewed by an estimated 98M people every year and is just as important to its rabid fans as it is to the Mexican avocado industry.

In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at www.agronometrics.com where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.


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