Peruvian avocado exports to U.S. could nearly double by 2028
Peruvian avocado exports to the United States are on the rise. In fact, 2022 was a record year for the industry as it exported for the first time more than 270 million pounds of avocados to the U.S., a 45% increase year-on-year.
However, Peruvian export volumes still depend on what happens in Mexico. They were able to reach 2022 volumes due in part to the fact that Michoacan exported 2 billion pounds compared to 2.3 billion pounds in 2021.
"This shows that Peru can easily export 270 million pounds to the United States in 2023 as long as the fruit has high dry matter and is of the best quality. In addition, Peruvian avocado now has the advantage that its presence in the United States has been extended from April to the end of October," commented Xavier Equihua, CEO of the Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC).
April to the end of October is a period in which Mexico implements fewer marketing promotions than in other months and, therefore, if Peru positions itself correctly, it could increase its current share of the U.S.
Equihua assures that avocado consumption in the United States could reach 4 billion pounds per year in the next five years as long as the industry sets this goal.
Of these 4 billion pounds, Peru could easily supply 500 million pounds, as long as the quality and dry matter are excellent, in order to compete with other origins supplying the U.S. market in the same period.
To address Peru's problems at origin, Equihua says that the Peruvian Association of Avocado Producers and Exporters (ProHass) needs to play a greater role in voluntary inspection, starting, for example, with a larger team of auditors and specialists to ensure that avocados exported to the U.S. market have the best dry matter and quality.
Likewise, ProHass, which represents only 65% of exports to the U.S., needs to work more closely with phytosanitary watchdog Senasa to ensure that non-ProHass partners comply with dry matter standards.
"I know it is easier said than done, but it is of utmost importance to start at the origin so that the fruit has an excellent presentation when it arrives in the United States," he said.
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The increase in volume to the U.S. has allowed the Peruvian industry to strengthen its relationships with supermarket chains, enabling the PAC to negotiate more extensive marketing campaigns with Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club, Kroger, Albertsons, Shaws, Grocery Outlet, Lidl, Meijer, BJ's, Giant, Food Lion, etc.
For 2023, among the several key marketing tactics the PAC will implement, starting in June, is one of the most exciting promotions ever undertaken by the U.S. fruit and vegetable sector: a promotion with the Atlanta Braves, winners of the 2021 Baseball World Series, and their official supermarket, Kroger.
Given that the Atlanta Braves' are from Southeastern United States, an area with the lowest avocado consumption in the country, this collaboration will raise awareness of Peruvian avocado and elevate the relationship with Kroger in an important area where other avocado origins have done few promotions in the past.
As the fourth largest supermarket chain in the United States, it is very important for PAC to foster a relationship with this important chain that has more than 14 supermarket brands coast to coast.
Equihua also indicated that PAC will relaunch the successful AVO Tesla by Avocados from Peru marketing campaign with the Lidl supermarket chain in a more robust way.
As in 2022, the promotion is not limited to the raffle of an AVO Tesla with the "Avocados from Peru" and "Lidl" logos, but leverages the AVO Tesla as a key tactic to increase sales of the Peruvian avocado, demonstrate its sustainability and promote the importance of a healthy, green lifestyle.
The campaign attracted a lot of attention and significant coverage from major media outlets in the United States while helping the number of followers on Instagram.