The A&P Bankruptcy proceedings have hit home in this area, and I've found myself looking for a new grocery store as my go-to shopping destination is in the process of liquidating itself. This week, I visited a store that was purchased from A&P and reopened under a new banner, and was happy to see a display filled with ripe avocados, an item I noticed was lacking at my home store as it was preparing for a shutdown. I was even happier when I took a look at the price: 3 large Hass avocados for only $5.
I've written before about the ascendancy of the avocado on both American plates and in popular culture, and I've also written about the theoretical breaking point of avocado supplies. What I'm writing about today reinforces the first idea, and makes me question the second. Clearly, America still loves avocados, but with promotional prices like the one I saw, I knew that although demand is growing, supply must be growing alongside it, as well.
As it turns out, avocado movement slowed in the week ending Oct. 24 with about 36.7 million-lbs. shipped, compared to the 40.1 million-lbs. shipped during the same period last year, according to USDA (Editor's Note: This webpage is updated every Tuesday at 3:00 P.M. E.S.T.) Prices were also lower than last year, with two-layer cartons of Hass 48s from Mexico priced in the $17.25 to $18.25 range, down from $32 last year, which was likely linked to the promotional price I was enjoying.
When I looked to the other shoppers in the section, I saw that I was not alone. It seemed everyone was ready to grab three of the delicious green fruits. In fact, just yesterday, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. reported a 38% increase in fresh avocado sales when compared to 2014, reaching $45.5 million overall. Chief Executive Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh noted that avocados are one of the company's fastest growing categories, and feels it will be a primary driver in their sales going forward.
Which drives me back to my original point about avocados breaking into the American mainstream. Avocados From Mexico decided to follow up on its highly successful multi-dimensional campaign for the 2015 Big Game this year with a new advertising program. Many of the major sales increases this year were attributed to their excellent "First Draft Ever" campaign, and with demand continuing to skyrocket, I think we can safely assume that avocados are here to stay.
For one more year, the avocado will still reign supreme.