The appetite for avocados across the globe shows no sign of waning, as the latest figures from ITC show, with imports between 2012 and 2016 growing from the US to Australia, China to Scandinavia and beyond.
Naturally, the Netherlands is one of the markets enjoying huge growth, with imports jumping 24 per cent over the period in question. Leading Dutch importer Hagé International has seen first-hand the rise in demand for the fruit.
“For avocados in particular, yes we are seeing increasing demand,” confirms Frans Timmers, import manager at The Greenery/Hagé International. “With the question of volume growth, the category continues to grow strongly. Of course, in the Netherlands we have become an important centre for sales and distribution of the fruit, and we are seeing growing demand for both retail and wholesale. As a result we are updating our import programmes.”
Hagé sources its avocados from three continents, bringing the fruit in from South Africa, Peru and Israel, and while the group does not envisage any additional regions being tapped into in the short-term, it is expecting continued growth in demand generally – driven by factors such as healthy eating and convenience.
“We are seeing continued growth for both conventional and ready-to-eat avocados,” Timmers confirmed. “Both are increasing in meaning and sales. The main reasons for this are the increasing demand for health and convenience, which means an increase in ready-to-eat in particular to fit this criteria.
The rising demand means we are striving to deliver for our customers so that they reach as many consumers as possible," he notes. "The focus is on retail and this strategy will continue to grow in Europe and beyond.”
And while the future may lead to the company targeting new markets, for now the aim is to increase sales in existing countries, such as domestically in the Netherlands and around Europe.
“We do not see any additional immediate growth in terms of opening up new markets, however we do see further penetration into existing markets,” Timmers explains. “Keeping the year-round offering for both imports and Dutch products is, and remains, our specialty. In terms of varieties, we supply both Hass and greenskins – Hass for Dutch supermarkets and greenskins for export to the likes of Italy, central Europe and Russia.”