Westfalia Fruit, the world’s leading integrated avocado farming and trading company, is pinning greater hopes on the rising consumption of avocado in the Indian market.

Ajay T.G, general manager of Westfalia Fruit, the South African based firm said avocado sales in India have doubled over the past two years and the trend is likely to continue in the current year. In 2021, India imported 1,000 tonnes of avocado, which doubled to 2,000 tonnes in 2022 and 4,000 tonnes in 2023. The figures of the first three months in the current year point to consumption doubling again to 8,000 tonnes this year. Over 50 per cent of avocado imports into India are by Westfalia, he said.

Ajay was in Kochi to launch the company’s Kerala trade of avocados through a tie-up with Kochi-based Aeden Fruits International.

The exotic fruit used to be imported into India from Peru, Chile and New Zealand by air, which had kept retail prices high owing to the steep airfreight. However, the sea transport has brought down the retail prices with imports are now being done from Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Brazil and Australia.

According to Kamarudheen CH, managing director, Aeden Fruits, avocado has been a familiar fruit in Kerala owing to Keralites’ exposure to the European and Middle East markets where avocado consumption is high. The higher consumption of avocados in Kerala, which are normally priced upwards of ₹300, is a reflection of the purchasing power in the state.

Sumit Saran, representing the World Avocado Organisation in India said the health benefits of avocado were a significant factor in triggering a strong interest in the fruit in India. The Indian market is already using the fruit in a range of foods from ice cream and juices to chaats and pani puri.

Global growth of avocado sales have been in the range of 15-20 per cent annually, while in India it has grown many times faster at 100 per cent.

Reflecting the increasing consumption of avocado in the country, avocado plantations have also come up in different states including Kerala. At the moment the production in India was only enough for local consumption, Ajay said.