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Rapid Development for Mr. Avocado as Sales Close in on 70,000 Fruits Per Day

October 26, 2018
Dan Siekman

The future looks bright for China-US joint venture Mr. Avocado as it rides surging demand for avocados in China. After only about a year and a half in business, the marketer of ripened avocados is seeing big sales growth. It is also considering adding a third avocado ripening facility in China, and is making progress in construction of an enormous new domestic China avocado growing base.

Mr. Avocado is co-owned by Lantao, Pagoda and Mission Produce. Lantao is China's largest avocado importer and distributor. Pagoda is China's largest fruit-specialist chain retailer. And Mission Produce of the US is the world's largest supplier of avocados. Using supply from Mission Produce that is imported by Lantao, Mr. Avocado ripens imported avocados in its own ripening facilities located in Shanghai and Guangdong province before selling them to a variety of retail customers around China, including Pagoda fruit shops.

Produce Report recently spoke to Mr. Avocado's newly-appointed General Manager, Ms LIU Mosu, who said her company's daily sales are currently in the range of 65,000 to 75,000 fruits. In addition to current customers like Pagoda, Hema, 7Fresh, Olé and Miss Fresh, Liu also expects that by the end of this year Mr. Avocado will count the large majority of Chinese supermarket and hypermarket chains as its customers.

In June of this year, Mr. Avocado announced that it would establish a massive new avocado plantation base in southwestern China's Yunnan province. The 6,600 hectare base is expected to reach a maximum production of 100,000 tons of avocados annually starting from 2022, allowing Mr. Avocado to deliver a fresher product to Chinese consumers and diversify its supply – as well as potentially to export to neighboring Asian markets under the Mission Produce brand. In the months since that announcement, workers have reportedly finished building nursery facilities and started large-scale seedling production.

Mr. Avocado is also considering adding a third China ripening facility, and may announce specific plans by the end of next year. It would join the original ripening center in Shanghai and a new facility opened earlier this year in Huizhou, Guangdong, adjacent to major Pearl River Delta markets. The location of the new facility would presumably be chosen to efficiently deliver ripened avocados to a wider geographical area.

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