Sales Q&A: 2021 Retail Round-Up: Predictions for the Year Ahead

As 2021 comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the year behind us and look optimistically to the one yet ahead. When asked their takeaways from 2021 and predictions for next year, West Pak’s Sales and Marketing team served up a delightfully mixed bag of personal experiences, observations, and projections.

What did you learn or experience in the avocado industry/market in 2021?

Joe Nava – Vice President Sales & Business Development
“Avocados are essential! I was pleasantly surprised that the demand for avocados stayed steady – even the pandemic cannot stop the mighty avocado.”

 

 

Brendan Jarrett – Sales Associate
“Avocados have become such a staple in different ethnicities and have impacted chefs of different cultures to expand their menus. Chefs and individuals are always coming out with new delicious recipes to add avocados to any culture’s cuisines!”

 

Jared Bray – Sales & Business Development
“2021 proved to me the resiliency of the produce industry and the avocado category. The year had some unique challenges in the industry, with a non-cooperative size curve and price levels surging above 2020 levels. Despite these challenges, we haven’t skipped a beat supplying our customers with whole, fresh, healthy avocados!”

 

Nic Vallejo – Sales & Business Development
“What didn’t I learn this year! 2021 was wild in that we experienced some very strong markets that held for much longer than expected. The ripple effect from customers switching sizes to accommodate the size curve shift as we transitioned from the Normal crop to the Loca crop was something new for me.”

 

George Henderson – Marketing Manager
“I remain impressed with the resiliency of the industry as a whole and the increasing popularity of the avocado. We’ve learned much from both the retailer and supplier side in the sustainability department as we’ve grown our programs to cut waste, including reducing plastic in packaging and replacing it with eco-green versions. It’s been an amazing learning process, and I look forward to continued growth as a company and in our sustainability efforts into the future.”

 

What types of avocado trends do you see for your customers and their consumers in 2022?

Brendan Jarrett – Sales Associate
“I believe avocados are one of the most beneficial fruit out there in the market due to the many health factors and delicious recipes. Individuals are favoring small fruit. Whether in bags or loose, avocados will be in high demand due to the single-serving size.”

 

Nic Vallejo – Sales & Business Development
“I see the ‘single-serve’ small avocado gaining momentum with retail.”

 

 

Joe Nava – Vice President Sales & Business Development
“The jumbo bag! Now that things are opening up, the jumbo bag is the perfect item to grab for entertaining larger groups.”

 

 

George Henderson – Marketing Manager
“For 2022, and likely well beyond, I see bagged avocados remaining strong, even gaining more popularity with retailers and shoppers alike. I am especially excited to see the growing trend toward responsibly sourced fruit with the Fairtrade movement. And, with the increased supply out of Jalisco — among other sourcing areas—West Pak is well poised to meet the growing demand for everyone’s favorite green fruit.”

 

Jared Bray – Sales & Business Development
“In 2022, I see small fruit continuing to grow in the marketplace as a ‘single-serve’ avocado option. Bags are a fantastic vehicle to carry small fruit, and I see further innovation in the bag categories with eco-friendly/biodegradable options coming in 2022. I also feel that while small fruit will continue to shine in the spotlight, we will also see the benefits of offering our customers options. You can hit different shoppers by offering large avocados, small avocados, bagged avocados, and organic avocados.”