Error

Close

search
OPN Connect Newsletter 347 · November 23, 2023

Good Supplies of Organic Avocados Expected to Continue


With Mexico in a strong supply situation—and expected to remain there for months—there is solid production of organic avocados with promotional opportunities anticipated to last through at least the Super Bowl and possibly into the spring.

“We have stable volume right now,” said Patrick Lucy, President of Del Rey Avocado Company in Fallbrook, California. “Growers are doing a good job of watching movement and sending a good flow of avocados into the market.”

OPS 2024 Retailer Reg square

Patrick Lucy, President, Del Rey Avocado

Lucy was speaking of the Mexican avocado industry as it is the time of the year when Mexico is supplying the US with at least 95 percent of its avocado supplies, both organic and conventional. He said the size curve is still skewing on the smaller end of the spectrum with 32s and 36s in short supply and the peak volume somewhere in the 48s to 60s range. “That doesn’t hurt organics as the smaller sizes are typically preferred,” he said, adding that the organic market has a stable price profile with promotional opportunities on 48s and smaller.

Speaking during the week before Thanksgiving, Lucy said avocados tend to take a back seat for that holiday as there are many other traditional produce items that take center stage. But in the post-Thanksgiving time frame, he expects organic avocados and the category in general to see its fair share of promotion.

“[A prevalence of 48s–60s] doesn’t hurt organics as the smaller sizes are typically preferred,” Patrick Lucy said, adding that the organic market has a stable price profile with promotional opportunities on 48s and smaller.

Vitalis April 2024

Lucy believes those promotional opportunities will be available through the Super Bowl but said there could be supply issues in early spring.  “Overall, Mexico’s volume is down from last year,” Lucy said.

Every year, as Mexico’s crop year heads to the fiscal finish line (June 30), supplies tend to get tight, and Lucy said this year’s volume curve will probably see an earlier decline. And that will certainly be true for organic avocados as the category typically runs out of fruit sooner than the conventional side of the ledger. He added that most organic growers from Mexico are already regulating their volume to make the crop last as long as possible. As a result, the FOB price on organics is registering about a 20-25 percent premium over conventional, which is higher than usual for this time of year.

Lucy said the drought conditions that have persevered in Mexico for much of the past 12 months are the culprit behind the smaller crop.

Gahl Crane, sales manager at Eco Farms in Temecula, California, spoke to OPN Connect on Friday, November 17. “Overall, the avocado supply is good, but November is never a big month for sales, so we have seen the price drop a bit over the last 4-5 weeks, so that led to a slight reduction in harvesting.”

Gahl Crane, Sales Manager, Eco Farms

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, Crane expects the size curve to improve and volume to pick up a bit. “Organic avocados look to be in a good position for the remainder of the year and into spring,” he said. “We don’t foresee supply issues until the spring. We see good opportunities in December through New Year’s and for the Super Bowl pull. After that, we will have to see how much fruit is left [from Mexico].”

Homegrown Organic Farms April 2024

“Overall, the avocado supply is good, but November is never a big month for sales, so we have seen the price drop a bit over the last 4-5 weeks, so that led to a slight reduction in harvesting.” - Gahl Crane

He revealed that the FOB price in mid-November ranged from the mid-to high $40s for organic 48s, with smaller fruit having a lower price. “The organic price point is as promotable as it has been in a long time,” Crane argued. 

He added that it is tricky to estimate what the supply situation will be for organic avocados in 3-4 months because it is impossible to guess how much fruit will be consumed during the heavy January/February time frame. However, he did say that the supply of organics from Mexico continues to increase. “We are seeing our organic growers in Mexico expand their acreage every year,” he said.

Crane also noted that if the price point is right in the first few months of 2024, California growers of both organic and conventional avocados can be expected to join the party. 

“We are seeing our organic growers in Mexico expand their acreage every year.” - Gahl Crane   

Peter Shore, vice president of product management for Calavo Growers in Santa Paula, California, had a very similar report to the other two avocado grower shippers. “Things are going well,” he said. “We are seeing good supplies of organics with both increasing growth and demand.”

Creekside Organics April 2024

Peter Shore, Vice President of Product Management, Calavo Growers

He agreed that supplies are limited on the larger sizes but said there is promotable volume on all sizes from 48s to 84s. “For at least the next six weeks, we expect good, steady volume,” he said on November 15, adding that strong volume will continue through January.

While he conceded that Thanksgiving is not a particularly fruitful holiday for avocados, Shore expects the demand throughout December and January to be robust as it always is. “As people gather for the holidays and other celebrations at that time of year, consumption increases, and we see good demand for all the categories including conventional, organic, and Fair Trade [Certified] avocados.”

Shore said Calavo continues to see an increasing demand for Fair Trade avocados, which comes at a premium, with the extra dollars going back to workers for projects in the districts from which the fruit is harvested. He noted that Calavo offers both Fair Trade Certified organic and conventional avocados.

OPS Retailer Reg leaderboard

Want Fresh News Delivered Regularly?

Sign up for OPN Connect 

Stay current on all the most important news
and features with our weekly newsletter.

Sign Up Todaykeyboard_arrow_right