California Avocado Commission Forecasts Quality and Demand for 2017
IRVINE, CA– Despite the category’s perceived challenges in California for 2016, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has reported that last year’s avocado harvest was above average in volume. In its latest statement, the 2016 California avocado crop weighed in at an impressive 401.4 million pounds, with the third highest crop value on record. The commission predicts a smaller volume forecast for 2017, which could mean a tighter window of supply, and marketing efforts focused to match distribution.
“The California avocado harvest for 2017 is projected to be around 225 million pounds, and sizing of the fruit on the trees is looking very good now,” said Rick Shade, California Avocado Commission Chairman. “CAC representatives and I have been out in groves in the various California avocado growing regions, and early sampling of the crop confirms the quality should be excellent this year.”
As a California avocado grower for 35 years, Shade learned the business from his grandfather and has plenty of experience to be a good judge of avocado quality. Shade served as CAC Chairman from late 2007 to late 2009, and was elected Chairman again in November 2016. Shade explained that California avocados are an alternate bearing crop. Often, but not always, a larger crop one year is followed by a smaller crop the next season, which seems to be the case for 2017. Other factors contributing to a smaller 2017 California avocado crop estimate are weather-related events from 2016, and vary by region.
“The recent rains in California are good for this year’s crop as well as for next year’s,” said Shade. “We’re evaluating what the rain will mean in terms of harvest timing. While some California avocados are already in distribution in a few local chains, in general it looks like a ramp up of harvesting in mid to late spring.”
The Commission’s Made of California marketing campaign will continue this spring and summer, according to Commission Vice President of Marketing Jan DeLyser.
“CAC is working with handlers to target distribution of the crop where and when the fruit will be most valued,” said DeLyser. “Our advertising campaign is structured to be targeted and very flexible to support participating retailers and foodservice operators, and to let consumers know where to find the California avocados they love.”
Will the 2017 California avocado crop surpass expectation? Check back with AndNowUKnow as we continue to report.