Guacamole usage mirroring avocados in diversity
It’s no secret that avocados have become a favorite item of foodies and are being in utilized in ways much more diverse than a generation ago. Processed guacamole is apparently following suit.
“A big trend in avocado and guacamole is usage beyond the dip,” said Jay Alley, vice president of sales and part owner of Fresh Innovations LLC., based in Rhome, TX. “Since avocadoes are creamy, delicious, and nutrient dense, consumers are getting creative on how to incorporate them into their everyday meals; from avocado toast for breakfast, to their sandwich or salad at lunch (instead of mayo or dressings) and finally to a delicious topper to fish, chicken, or meat at dinner. With people staying in and experimenting with foods in their kitchens during the pandemic, we are seeing a wide variety of uses across all audiences and demographics.”
Fresh Innovations is the parent company of ¡Yo Quiero! Brands, an avocado, guacamole and dip company with facilities in Texas and in Mexico. Alley noted that the company’s avocado-centric product mix has changed as its innovation team monitors trends and consumer desires.
“This year, watching the popularity of avocado toast and heightened avocado consumption, we launched an all-natural, 100 percent Hass avocado mash. So far, it is doing very well in the stores.”
The ¡Yo Quiero! brand offers a wide variety of flavors and sizes: from two-ounce mini cups to an eight-ounce family portion to the 15-ounce party size. “Currently, our ¡Yo Quiero! guacamole is our best seller,” Alley said. “With the current avocado trend, we are seeing that positively affect the guacamole category.”
Though everyday guacamole usage is increasing, the company still sees spikes during avocado/guacamole consumption holidays, such as Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo and Fourth of July, and still puts a lot of time and trade promotions toward promoting those holidays because it drives lots of traffic to the produce and deli departments, which are the two departments where guacamole is usually sold.
While Hispanic over-index significantly in their usage of whole avocados, that is not the case with processed guacamole. “Most first, second, and even third generation Hispanics, make their own guacamole,” Alley said. “In saying that, however, it seems that when time is short, the Hispanic group will grab a container or two of our products and add their own ingredients, like jalapenos, onions, and spices. Since the Hispanic market tends to make their own guacamole, purchase data does show that the majority of guacamole buyers are non-Hispanic.”
Fresh Innovations purchases its avocados directly from groves and packing houses, focusing on GAP-certified fields and packing houses. “We produce and pack our avocado and guacamole products in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, which is in the center of Mexico. Our location allows us the benefit of pulling Hass avocados from all Mexican growing regions,” Alley said.
Just like whole avocados, Alley said the states in the southern half of the U.S. are the biggest consumers of guacamole. Alley believes that the product line’s competitive edge is offering a one-stop shop for consumers because of its expanded variety of dips.
The company is also finding traction in the foodservice arena as
“restaurant chains are looking for ways to do more, with less help. Our products come premade, so there is no slicing, dicing, and mashing of avocados. Also, the products can be frozen and stored easily with little to no shrink.”