NEW YORK — Fairway Markets is one of many supermarkets across the country gearing up for the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo with big avocado displays that are expected to fire up sales.
“While on holidays like Cinco de Mayo, we'll see a spike, Hass avocados from Mexico continue to be a top seller for us [throughout the year],” said Steven Jenkins, member of the senior management team at three-unit Fairway Markets. “I don't see an end to the current avocado trend anytime soon.”
Jenkins said he believes avocado sales have grown so dramatically because many people who had never tried avocados have been introduced to them via salads and guacamole at the many Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants across the country. “I should include the frequent presence of avocado in sushi as well, and we know how popular sushi has become,” he added.
“Once people taste avocados, they're sold. The flavor and texture provide such a bridge to the enjoyment of tomatoes and onions and cottage cheese and various other vegetables that are delicious and easy to prepare. Plus, avocados marry so beautifully with vinaigrettes and other salad dressings.”
Elsewhere in Manhattan, Gourmet Garage, a specialty store, also has seen avocado sales grow steadily over the last few years.
“They're incredibly popular and they move quickly,” said Rob Prusak, director of purchasing for the company. “At Cinco de Mayo we see more activity, but to tell you the truth, these avocados have become so popular with our customer that they always sell well.”
Produce industry sources told SN that avocados are now ranking seventh among popular fruits in the supermarket produce department. That's quite a hike from just a few years ago, when avocados ranked in the high teens.
Across the country, supermarket chains have signed up for Hass avocados from Mexico's point-of-sale ad program. A&P, Pathmark, Big Y, Hy-Vee and Publix Super Markets are among those expected to participate.