Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green-skinned avocados claim their own niche

Excerpts from an article by Tom Burfield in The Packer's Fall Avocado Marketing published on 08/16/2010
About 96% of the avocados sold in the U.S. are the hass variety, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board. But there’s still a market for a handful of other varieties, most of which are known as green-skinned avocados.

Green-skins include the bacon, fuerte, gwen, macarthur, pinkerton, reed and zurtano varieties.Shoppers like the hass because of its smooth, creamy texture and great taste, said Jose Luis Obregon, managing director of the Hass Avocado Board.“It satisfies the consumer,” he said.

But those who market many of the other varieties maintain that their avocados typically have less fat and fewer calories than the hass, they usually cost less, and they’re often larger.

Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals says its SlimCados, the brand name under which the company markets its green-skinned avocados, have half the fat and a third of the calories of a California hass avocado.

“We brand it that way because we want people to know that it’s a different-tasting avocado,” said Mary Ostlund, marketing director. But Ostlund said SlimCados don’t really compete with other varieties.“They really are a complement,” she said.They’re lighter fare that consumers might select when topping a salad or hamburger.

Brooks Tropicals can market more than 70 varieties as SlimCados, she said.