Demand For Kenyan Avocado Continues to Climb: The Issue Right Now Is Providing a Continuous Supply

The avocado market has been thriving over the past few years as the fruit’s popularity soared worldwide, and the Kenyan avocado has a special niche in the global market. According to Juan Escorcia, from Avocados Aguirre the demand is almost impossible to satiate. 
“Right now the issue with avocados is not selling them – they sell themselves. The issue we have right now is providing a continuous supply because the demand is so high. The demand has been climbing exponentially this past decade which has brought a lot of new production around the world. 
Ten years ago, Mexico produced around 90% of the world’s avocados, but today new markets are arising in other Latin American countries, in Africa - Kenya topping the list, New Zealand and Australia. There has even been production in China. From our experience, however, there is still not enough production to meet the demand.” Juan says.
avocado farming in kenya
Kenyan Avocado

Retail sales of avocados increasing by 72% each year in China

In the next three years, China could pass the United States and become the number one avocado consumer country in the world, according to major retail company Pagoda. This expanding market is great news to hass avocado farmers in Kenya as the country has started exporting frozen avocado to China. 

General Manager Peter Zhu told the World Avocado Congress in Columbia that for a young avocado country, demand in China is increasing so fast, retail sales of the fruit are increasing by 72 per cent each year. He recalled that back in 2016, the company formed a joint partnership with Lantao International and Mission Produce to form the Mr Avocado brand. Since then the product being offered to consumers has transformed dramatically.

"In 2016, the only avocados selling in Pagoda were green and hard," Mr Zhu said. "In early April 2017, we started to sell ready to eat avocados in all our stores, and by 2018, 89 per cent of the stock in Pagoda stores were ready to eat. Now in 2019, all 4,000 Pagoda stores only sell ready to eat avocados. No more green fruits."

With high quality fruits, you have an unlimited market

In 2018, the largest avocado distributor in the world, Pagoda, had 4,000 fresh fruit retail stores, and in five years that is expected to grow to 10,000 stores in China – in 20 provinces and 80 cities across China. Mr Zhu explained that quality and taste are the main focus areas for his company, and admitted avocados are a new experience for many Chinese consumers.

"For fresh fruit, there are two different types; one is the 'sweet-tasting' fruit, and the other is avocados," Mr Zhu said. "There are so many sweet fruits, but the only unsweet fruit (sold at Pagoda) is avocado. It is a healthy fruit that we want to promote big time in our Chinese stores. We want to do a lot of promotions with all our members and general customers to let them know what an avocado is and how to eat it. We want to give them the best experience with an avocado, but we need the education."

Mr Wang estimates that by 2021, China will be importing 70 container loads per week, and believes there is potential to grow that number to 700 loads per week in 15 years’ time, making the country the largest importer in the world. He says it has been a main objective for Mr Avocado to promote the ready to eat avocados, by using professional chefs to form local recipes, and create new interest.

"We have even hired people from Mexico to do tours of China," he said. "We have done some on-site supermarket promotions, and we have created a very popular video for Everything Fresh, which is the best home fresh delivery in China. So, Mr Avocado ready to eat will be sold in about 80 per cent of the top retailers across China."

Pagoda also has a number of value-added products, including Mr Avocado soy sauce, and soy sauce with wasabi, which is under a registered trademark.

avocado farming in kenya pdfThe Kenyan avocado farmer is set to benefit a great deal from this expanding global market. Invest in avocado farming: it is a sure way to earn stress-free income over many years. 

We have compiled this comprehensive Hass avocado farming guide for Kenya with step by step information from planting through to harvesting and marketing. It also contains budget estimates. It is now available on PDF so you can even read it from your phone while at the farm. You can request for your copy through our Resources Page

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