Guacamole fans should score plenty of avocados for Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is the No. 1 avocado consumption day of the year, according to the Dallas-based trade group Avocados from Mexico (AFM). 

Football fans consume an astounding 105 million pounds of pounds of avocados — mostly in the form of guacamole — during the big game, AFM said.

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, guacamole fans can rejoice knowing that Mexico is on track to ship 2 billion pounds of avocados to the U.S. this winter.

The 2020 Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2. The U.S. sees a big surge in volume just before the Super Bowl, with thousands of truckloads of avocados heading to stores in time for game-watching parties.

“Definitely we will see an increase in the total number of trucks reaching our border filled with avocados in the weeks leading up to the big game. I expect the industry as a whole to average 1,400 truckloads or more in the two to three weeks before the Super Bowl,” Aaron Acosta, corporate relations manager for Pharr, Texas-based Villita Avocados, told FreightWaves.

Villita Avocados imports Hass avocados from the state of Michoacán in central Mexico, where 80% of Mexico’s avocados originate. 

“If we use previous years as a benchmark and add the current increases we see in today’s market, we will be in for another record-breaking year in terms of volume. At this time, 80 million pounds of avocados looks like a realistic number based on current market consumption metrics,” Acosta said.

Avocados of course aren’t the only food served at Super Bowl parties. Football (and halftime show) fans consume a whopping 14 billion burgers, 1.3 billion chicken wings, 12.5 million pizzas and 11 million pounds of potato chips. 

And just like any other commodity, avocado prices are driven by supply and demand, with several factors affecting price this time of year.

Michoacán currently is the only Mexican state allowed to export fresh Hass-branded avocados into the U.S. After avocados are harvested and packaged in Michoacán, they are usually trucked to such ports along the U.S.-Mexico border as Laredo and Pharr, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona. 

Normally, tender rejections on refrigerated freight will trend upward going into the first week of February as shippers are moving the avocados to the grocery shelves for the Super Bowl Sunday demand. During the weeks before the 2019 Super Bowl, there was a near doubling of outbound tender rejections in the Laredo (OTRI.LRD) and surrounding markets.

In SONAR (TTRI.LRD) the tender rejections for “tweener loads” in the 450- to 800-mile range increased nearly 200% during the three weeks before the Super Bowl, suggesting shippers were finding capacity tight for loads from Laredo destined for large cities like Dallas and New Orleans.

Outbound tender rejections in Laredo are trending upwards because of the holidays. As it gets closer to Super Bowl Sunday Feb. 2, rejection rates could double with demand for avocados from Mexico. SONAR TICKER: OTRI.LRD

With more than 60% of fresh Mexican avocados imported into the U.S. crossing the border through the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, Acosta said his company will be ready for Super Bowl Sunday.

“This may seem like an impossible task, but Villita Avocados and the rest of the industry has  invested heavily in the infrastructure — new equipment, processing plants and logistics — to ensure we have enough avocados for this prime-time event,” Acosta said. “By this time we will also have a dedicated plant up and running to import ready-made guacamole straight from the avocado capital of the world as well.”