Avocados have been around for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence of avocado consumption going back nearly 10,000 years in central Mexico, while researchers believe that humans began cultivating the fruit about 5,000 years ago. There’s also much proof that the Mesoamerican tribes like the Inca in Peru and the Olmec and the Maya in Mexico grew domesticated avocado trees.
Since then, avocados have become a staple in Hispanic cuisine, and it’s not hard to see why they’ve become so popular. Not only are they delicious, versatile, and add a touch of color and texture to the table, but they’re also packed with healthy benefits. Avocados are full of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins that can help with everything from heart health and lowering blood pressure to staving off cancer and diabetes.
Avocados are a beloved ingredient in many traditional Hispanic dishes served during celebrations and festivities for generations. They are often used in guacamole, a staple dip served alongside chips or as a topping for various dishes, and incorporated into salads, sandwiches, and main dishes commonly served during family gatherings. Many traditional recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, solidifying the Hispanic culture’s deep connection between food and family.
From Tradition to Innovation
Over the years, Hispanic cuisine has also become popular among non-Hispanics, spreading the love of avocados to other demographics – hence the fruit’s ever-growing popularity. There’s also a wave of influence of different cultures in Hispanic cuisine with many innovative fusion dishes that entice the evolving tastes of the modern Hispanic shopper.
Here’s a taste of fusion fare from Avocados From Mexico:
- Homemade Ramen with Avocado: Mexican-Japanese Fusion
- Mexican-Thai Fusion: Pad Thai Burritos with Avocado
- Mexican-Indian Fusion: Slow Cooker Chicken Avocado Curry
To cater to the evolving Hispanic market and tap its influence on the avocado industry it’s wise to delve into the research and study the numbers. Since 2018, Hass Avocado Board (HAB) has released comprehensive studies with much insight into the demographic.
In its most recent study comparing sample groups of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic shoppers, the 2023 Hispanic Market Acculturation Report revealed the following:
- In 2023, 93% of Hispanics in the study identified as avocado purchasers, up from 90% in 2022, while only 66% of non-Hispanics surveyed were avocado purchasers – down from 74% the year prior.
- Of Hispanic household grocery shoppers, 67% are female and 32% male, with 61% between the ages 25-44.
- The average Hispanic household is 3.4 people, compared to non-Hispanics at 2.5.
- At 63% vs. 31% – Hispanic households are much more likely than non-Hispanic ones to have children under 18 in their homes.
- At 70% vs. 51%, Hispanics are much more likely to be employed.
- Hispanics are more likely to be married than non-Hispanics (65% vs. 54%).
- The average income for Hispanic households in 2023 is $60K ($33K on the low side and $90K on the high side).
- Avocado usage occasions generally skew higher among Hispanics, except for snacking, which is higher among the general sample.
- Using avocados for breakfast continues to trend up slightly among Hispanics.
- Salads, guacamole/dip, and sandwiches/wraps/burgers are the top ways avocados are used among most surveyed, yet “eaten plain” was also named a top use among Hispanics.
In a different survey of consumers, The Packer’s Fresh Trends 2023 report found that 55% of Hispanic and Asian consumers reported avocado purchases in the past year, compared with 36% for white/Caucasian consumers and 24% of Black/African American consumers.
Shopping with Purpose
Regarding avocado shopping behaviors of the Hispanic community, several factors influence purchasing decisions. The 2023 Hispanic Market Acculturation Report found:
- Hispanics predominately purchase avocados as part of their regular shopping routine.
- The top purchase decision drivers for the demographic are that avocados are nutrient-dense and are a source of many vital nutrients.
- The various reasons for buying avocados are strong across all groups surveyed. The top reasons include that avocados are healthy, those surveyed and/or their families like or love the taste and/or texture, the good fats, and that avocados help to provide nutritious meals.
- Price remains a top purchase barrier for many people, including Hispanics, but turning brown too quickly and not finding avocados with the desired ripeness level take second and third. Also, consumer concerns over pesticides and sustainability have ticked upward for the demographic since the 2018 study.
Serving the Hispanic Market
To align with the needs of this diverse and growing shopper category it’s essential to ensure a steady supply of avocados year-round. As a retailer, rotate your inventory of bulk avocados, either placing riper avocados on top or creating a section marked for “ready-to-eat” fruit. Also, stock up on bags of various sizes for that grab-and-go appeal.
West Pak’s Party Pak is the ideal solution for the shopper with a family. This larger bag of avocados is perfect for any gathering, from large parties to simple celebrations around the family dinner table. Shoppers can greet each season with a bold new bag design, which includes a helpful recipe right on the back and the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark – a reminder of the health benefits of everyone’s favorite green fruit.
Embracing the Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15, 2023) is one way to honor and tap into the culture of the Hispanic demographic. And there’s no better way to do this than having an avo-themed fiesta!
- Liven up your produce aisle with festive decorations and bold displays brimming with bulk and bagged avocado offerings.
- Carry the theme into your store’s advertisements, website, and social media.
- Dress up your checkout area to remind shoppers to get their guac on and celebrate the occasion with friends and family.
- Partner with avocado associations for a coupon deal or jump in on their promotions for the celebration.
- Offer an array of traditional Hispanic and infusion recipes to appeal to the diverse needs of your shoppers.*
- Create unique shopping experiences by cross-promoting recipe ingredients.
Viva Avocado Fiesta
Whether it’s a family reunion, a cultural event, or a simple get-together, create an unforgettable avocado-themed experience in your store that resonates with your Hispanic shoppers. Ask your West Pak sales representative for help putting some ‘Ole’ into your avocado offerings this Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.