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Mission Produce opens mega Texas Facility

By
Tim Linden

For increased flexibility and to better serve its customers, Mission Produce recently opened a mega center in Laredo, TX. The grand opening was designed to celebrate the company’s first anniversary of its initial public offering on Oct. 1, 2020.

“We’ve recently opened our new 262,000-square-foot mega center in Laredo, TX, which will support Port Laredo’s $1 billion worth of avocado imports,” said Denise Junqueiro, vice president of marketing and communications. “We strategically designed and positioned the mega center to facilitate the substantial incoming trade to the region, especially the 24,000 truckloads of avocados that go through Port Laredo every year, in order to disperse them throughout the rest of our network.”

The forward distribution center and third-party logistics facility is strategically positioned to foster enhanced customer service, increased flexibility and expanded capabilities for the Mission’s customer base. 

Mexico is moving into its heavy shipping period into the United States, with most of that product passing through Texas. “Our Mexican operations provide us direct access to Mexico’s premium growing regions and vast network of growers in Michoacán, Jalisco, and Nayarit. Our avocado experts cool, pack, bag and inspect our fruit for export markets at our advanced, avocado-specific facilities in Mexico,” said Junqueiro.

She noted that the Mexican fruit is a “significant contributor to our avocado programs, year-round.” While most of that fruit is sent to U.S. markets, she said it is also shipped to the company’s customers in Europe and Asia, as well as throughout South America.

Junquiero noted that total volume from Mexico neighbor to the south could be down. "According to predictions by the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM), the 2021-2022 crop harvest is anticipated to be slightly smaller than last year.”

Mission, which is a leader in promoting avocados to both the trade and consumers, launched a healthy eating campaign for consumers earlier this year. “Opt for Avo is our latest consumer-facing health and wellness campaign, which is perfect for kicking off the new year by promoting avocados as a healthy substitute for less-nutritional ingredients high in saturated fats,” said Junquiero. “We offer many in-store merchandising items, including bins, retail cards, POS kits, and digital content.”

Mission revealed that in a survey of over 8,000 consumers, only 65 percent of participants associated avocados with healthy fats, despite a medium Hass avocado containing only 18 grams of monounsaturated fats, making it a healthy substitute for foods high in saturated fats. The same survey noted that only 51 percent of consumers associated avocados with heart health, 36 percent considered them a good source of fiber and 32 percent as immunity-boosting. 

The Mission campaign is designed to remind consumers that by opting for avocado, they opt for 20 vitamins and minerals that are essential to a daily diet, and associated with heart health, skin health, weight management, a balanced diet, and increased satiety. 

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