Health-conscious consumers are eating avocados like never before during the pandemic.
After a brief drop in demand when the coronavirus first began its spread, European and U.S. consumption has continued to hit record highs, according to Xavier Equihua, chief executive officer of the World Avocado Organization, a trade group.
“Consumption is off the charts,” Equihua said. “People want to eat healthy. The new luxury post-pandemic is going to be eating healthy and wellness.”
Demand for the fruit has accelerated as more consumers eat at home. No longer just a component of guacamole for parties, its use has broadened to salads, burritos and, of course, the hipster cliche of avocado toast. Europe’s consumption will jump 12 percent this year to a record 1.48 billion pounds, according to import data, while U.S. demand will increase 7 percent, Equihua said, citing industry projections.
“It’s not only the millennials,” Equihua said. “They are now having kids and they are eating avocado, too. Gen Z also wants healthy food. We’re going to see a further explosion in the next six to eight years” when Europe may catch up to the top- consuming Americans, he said.
The value of global avocado imports grew the fastest among main fruits over the past decade, according to David Magana, senior analyst for Rabobank International. Global demand for Hass, the most popular variety, will grow at an annual rate of almost 5 percent through 2025, topping $8 billion globally, the Hass Avocado Board projects.
Luckily for consumers, bumper crops in Mexico and California, the top suppliers to the American market, brought prices down this year after a supply disruption in 2019 sent prices to record, Magana said.