Advocates For ‘The Avo’: Will The Avocado’s Popularity Continue?

Ed Angeli

Avocado and millennials – a match made in heaven: i) The fruit is made to be on social media, ii) Millennials can’t put their tablets down, and iii) It’s one of the healthiest fruits going. The goodness of an avocado even manages to convince people that you’re eating ‘good’ bad food – if that makes sense.

Avacado doubter: “Yeah, but isn’t an avocado full of fats?”.

Avacado advocate: “Sure, but it’s good fat”.

Now-avocado advocate inner thought: ‘Ah crackin’, I’ll plaster this avocado and poached egg all over my Instagram; that’s bound to get some likes in’.

Such is the avocados popularity over social media, the fruit had the two highest ‘pinned’ posts on Pinterest in 2015, and its popularity has only increased since then.

In 2016, the UK spent an extra £50million on avocados which saw the fruit’s sales rise by 35% to £192.4million – turns out a combination of green, buckets of protein and the highest oil content of any fruit is enough to turn the UK into meltdown.

Despite the ingenious puns which the avocado can deliver on social media, such as posts saying: ‘let’s avocuddle’, the aesthetics and health values of the fruit has seen the likes of Nigella Lawson take full advantage of its popularity, which in turn, has seen a 30% rise in sales at Waitrose two years ago.

It’s a fruit that has managed to outsell oranges in December; the very own fruit of Christmas had to play second fiddle as British households added the famous green to their scrambled eggs and salmon in the morning.

However, even though the fruit has a loyal following in the UK, its imports of avocados are way behind that of the US.

With a population of 17million – compared to Britain’s 65million – the Dutch imports of avocados have seen a spike in popularity even greater than Britain. In 2016, Holland’s intake went up to 49million kilos, compared to 10million in 2008 – it’s like a mad baby boom of green fruit.

The rise in popularity saw imports from Holland rise to €433million in 2016, and when 79% of the fruit is re-exported it’s proving a major positive for the Dutch economy.

However, where demand is high, there is always going to be a huge strain on supply; Mexico, where just one avocado farm, Tancítaro, supplies nearly two billion avocados alone to the US is particularly under regular pressure to keep up with the demand for the fruit.

The increased popularity in the US has seen a huge rise since the turn of the century; in 2000, just £24million of avocados was shipped into the US, by 2015, that rose to £1.76 billion.

With a # of just under seven-million posts on Instagram when you type ‘avocado’, the popularity of the fruit does not look like dwindling. The rapid interest from China which has seen 154 tonnes of avocado imports jump to 25,000 tonnes from 2012 to 2016, looks set to further the popularity of the fruit; it quite literally is the fruit of the decade, and its demand does not look like declining anytime soon.

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