Del Rey Avocado's Patrick Lucy Provides Insight on Tight Avocado Market
FALLBROOK, CA - Avocados have become a staple in the homes of many shoppers, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. With retailers in search of new ways to strengthen the category, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to discuss merchandising strategies amidst a tight avocado market with Del Rey Avocado’s Vice President of Sales Patrick Lucy.
“The current market is very, very tight—probably the tightest it has been in three years—due to the size curve and maturity issues in Mexico, combined with California and Peru harvest wrapping up,” Patrick explains to me.
Del Rey Avocado is reporting good quality across its avocado crops, with the size curve proving to be slightly smaller due to cooler conditions in its growing regions. This size curve, in addition to smaller fruit coming out of Mexico, has contributed to a tight market in the category.
As retailers look to continue capturing avocado sales in the produce department, they can harness Del Rey Avocado’s flexible retail programs to optimize the smaller sizing in the category.
“We offer our retail partners many different types of programs and tailor them to fit their needs and help drive sales,” Patrick begins. “We have many different value-added programs, whether it be preconditioning, bagging, private labels, and Apeel-treated avocados. We always try to make sure our retail partners are carrying the best eating avocado for that time of year, which is why we give them the option of avocados from California, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Colombia. We want to give our retail partners as many options as possible to make avocados their #1 produce item week after week.”
To boost the category, Del Rey Avocado recommends giving shoppers a variety of different options, with different sizes and packaging options to meet the needs of every consumer.
“Retailers should be size and country-of-origin flexible. The avocado category is very fluid and can move up and down quickly throughout the season, so if they can be flexible in the sizes they offer, they can move extra volume,” Patrick adds. “The biggest way to drive avocado sales is to have a few different offerings or value-added avocados on the shelves. The more options you give your customers, the better—not every person is looking for a size 48 ct, some might want bagged avocados to use through the week, while others may want something smaller that they can use for a single meal.”
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