The prevalence of avocado oil was identified as one of the 10 major food trends of 2023 by Whole Foods Market. The retailer’s Trends Council pointed out that while the ingredient has been a standard in the natural food category for years, it has now become a popular product in traditional groceries. Consumers are replacing the typical oils with avocado oil due to its nutritional value and high smoke point.
Avocado oil is likely to continue entering the mainstream; the market is expected to grow by over $516 million over roughly the next five years, according to a report by Technavio. Chosen Foods’ entire portfolio is based around the ingredient and Kraft Heinz’s Primal Kitchen vegan mayo line prominently features avocado oil.
The superfood is “a crop that’s come out of nowhere and it’s going places,” Zac Bard, chairman of the World Avocado Association, said to FoodNavigator.
Another category leader is Avohass – which is one of the few extra virgin, unrefined and cold-pressed offerings on the market.
“This is what sets us apart from other [brands],” said Amy Bowman, co-founder of Avohass. “Most of the other avocado oils may say ‘cold pressed’ on their label but if they are refined or expeller pressed, then this is just a marketing term used to fool the consumer.”
She added that the “emerald green” color of Avohass’ products is another thing that helps differentiate them from the other avocado oils that are often clear.
Health benefits of avocado oil
Many consumers are concerned with finding healthier replacements for the foods they are already eating every day, and adding avocado oil to their diet can be a simple solution.
“Because [Avohass] is a raw unfiltered product, it retains the majority of the health benefits of a raw avocado,” said Bowman, and each 16.9 oz bottle of oil can contain up to 40 avocados.
Other nutritional values of extra virgin avocado oil include a high Oleic acid content, which has been shown to increase nutrient absorption from vitamins A, D, E and K. Bowman also added that these health claims are only found in an avocado oil like Avohass – a refined oil will not have those same benefits.
“We believe that there will be a shift towards more extra virgin quality/premium brands of avocado oil because customers are realizing the expeller pressed and refined avocado oils are lacking nutritional value, flavor and color,” she said.
Keeping food waste in mind
While the avocado oil trend is linked to consumers’ overall interest in health and wellness in the food and beverage industry, it also taps into the desire to support brands that are focused on being environmentally conscious.
“Nothing is wasted from avocados,” said Bard to FoodNavigator. He explained how waste from oil processing can be used for compost, the seeds can be used as biodegradable materials and the skin of the fruit can even be an ingredient for some medicines.
A supplier of Avohass based in Kenya only purchases avocados from producers that do not use pesticides, and the discarded seeds are used for replanting, shared Bowman. This producer uses the pulp of the fruit after production to feed livestock and the skins to fertilize.
Due to the size of Avohass and its dedication to purchasing high-quality avocados, the company has a smaller budget for marketing and isn’t able to communicate the benefits of avocado oil on a wide scale. However, the company does have plans to expand on the East Coast and Southeast as well as introduce more avocado oil-based products such as salad dressings this year, Bowman shared.
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