Cinco de Mayo Avocado Demand Expectations

According to a recent article by The Packer, where industry suppliers shared their expectations for this year’s Cinco de Mayo, the consensus is that avocados will be among the top produce items for the holiday. Many expect demand to be strong in 2021 despite different consumer patterns than years before COVID-19.

Several suppliers agreed that sales around Cinco de Mayo last year were good despite the change in gathering habits due to the pandemic. With the vaccine being readily available and people learning how to get together responsibly, some feel that people will be ready to gather for the holiday this year. Regardless, between increases in demand for retail and foodservice gaining traction again, the avocado will remain a popular holiday favorite. 

Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, confirmed that demand for avocados is expected to be high around Cinco de Mayo.

“Fourth of July was the strongest sales spike, followed by Memorial Day, then Cinco de Mayo, and Labor Day. The forecast for California avocado shipments in 2021 follows a similar pattern to 2020, with spikes for the key late spring and summer shopping events, including Cinco de Mayo.”

Stephanie Bazan, vice president of trade and market development for Irving, Texas-based Avocados From Mexico, concurred.

“Though Americans may not have celebrated Cinco de Mayo in 2020 at restaurants, over 53 million pounds of avocados were imported into the U.S. in the week before the holiday. Since large gatherings couldn’t happen during COVID-19, we shifted our planned Cinco to a focus on making guacamole at home. The #HomemadeCinco (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) digital campaign encouraged shoppers to dip into Cinco with homemade guacamole,” Bazan said.

She added: “It was our most successful digital Cinco de Mayo program ever, with our digital and social activations dominating the day across all channels. This year we expect demand to be strong in the three weeks leading up to Cinco.”

Joe Nava, vice president of sales and business development for Murrieta, Calif.-based West Pak Avocado, also reported that Cinco de Mayo was still an occasion for increased buying.

“Unlike the usual gatherings that traditionally happen for Cinco de Mayo, last year we found that smaller, family-only get-togethers were the trend, but much more of them,” Nava said. 

“Everybody found a way to celebrate at home, even if it was just immediate family. With precautions still in place, we anticipate the trend continuing this year, with some gatherings starting to increase in size.”