Loading…

Del Rey Avocado anticipates extension of Peruvian season

delrey22 With the shipments of Peruvian avocados to the United States running about three weeks later than last year, Del Rey Avocado Corp. expects the season to extend further into September than is usually the case.

Speaking to The Produce News on May 13, Del Rey President Bob Lucy said he is not expecting to have a solid volume of Peruvian avocados until close to the middle of June. “Usually we have good volume by about May 20th and are cleared out by Labor Day,” he said. “This year, I suspect we are going to push longer into September, which isn’t a bad thing.”

In fact, he noted that California’s avocado crop is also expected to be marketed longer than usual with good supplies through September and even into October. For California, one of the main causes of the extended season is the coronavirus. Of course, the much larger crop — approaching 400 million pounds — is also a major factor.

“We have shortened our workday in the packingshed from 10 hours to eight hours and have cut down on our Saturday schedule to give the workers a break,” Lucy said. That has resulted in decreased production on a weekly basis and a natural extension of the season.

For Peru, he said the delay is the result of the immaturity of the fruit. Avocados are tested for dry matter and are not harvested until reaching a specific level, which correlates to maturity. Cooler weather has slowed that process this year.

Lucy said Del Rey has been growing its Peruvian supplies and expects about a 10 percent increase this year. “We were offered more but because of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus we thought 10 percent would be a good amount of growth for this year.”

The company will bring in both conventional and organic avocados from Peru, and Lucy believes that Del Rey is the largest importer of organic avocados from that South American country. “I believe we will market 30-40 percent of Peru’s organic production” destined for the U.S. market, he said.

Del Rey is noted as a leader in the organic avocado sector, also representing a significant portion of California and Mexico’s output in that arena.

Like virtually all the other handlers of avocados, Lucy said the trend toward bagging the fruit remains on an upward curve. He said shoppers have especially been drawn to it this year because of the coronavirus and the desire to get in and out of supermarkets as quickly as possible.

“Not just avocados but all bagged produce items are selling well,” he said.

While the coronavirus has affected the avocado industry, especially because of the decline in foodservice sales, Lucy said he was “pleasantly surprised” at how well the market has held up.

“Retail has remained amazingly strong throughout the season,” he said. “Foodservice, of course, has been well down but we are starting to see the sales eke back as these restaurants reinvent themselves and try to build their businesses back up. It’s very sad what happened to many of these small businesses almost overnight.”

United Fresh LIVE! Community – Collaboration – Innovation
United Fresh LIVE! is a response to an unprecedented challenge to our industry and our world. While citizens around the globe are social distancing and avoiding physical connections, our industry must continue to find creative ways to continue doing business, and trade shows are a large part of that strategy for the fresh Read More ...
Kroger expands plans for high-tech fulfillment centers
The Kroger Family of Cos. and Ocado announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct three new customer fulfillment centers in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions.   "Kroger is incredibly excited to construct three additional industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers across Read More ...
Onions 52 welcomes Food Lion's Clay Jones to sales team
Onions 52 Inc. has welcomed Clay Jones to its sales and business development team. Jones is based in San Antonio, TX, and will be focusing on new account development and expanding business with current customers. “We could not be happier to have Clay join our team,” said Shawn Hartley, vice president of sales. “With Clay’s Read More ...
Simple labeling changes can escalate sales
Simple changes on a produce packaging label can drastically influence consumer purchases of that product. Tony Cook, chief executive officer of Great Lakes Label LLC, said his customers have seen this immediately build retail sales by as much as 30 percent. Cook, who in 1994 started the company in Comstock, MI, credits the Read More ...
Tops' new safety and risk leader
Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont, promoted Natalie Fisher to manager of safety and risk for the company. Fisher began her career with Tops in the stores in 2001 and was promoted to various roles until her appointment as safety specialist for the Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse