Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Back in the 1990s, launching a reduced-fat avocado would have seemed like a good idea – this was the period when consumers’ fear of fat and the belief that ‘fat makes you fat’ was at its peak.

But in 2017, when consumers can distinguish between ‘good fats’ and ‘bad fats’ – with plant foods firmly in the good fats camp – the benefit is not so clear.

A Spanish fruit company – Isla Bonita – has been making headlines with the launch of ‘Aguacate Light’. Already available in many places in Spain, key claims are:

  • 30% less fat than other avocados
  • Bigger size, softer skin and softer flesh
  • Gets ripe fast
  • Oxidises slowly

The Food and Health Program of the Spanish Heart Foundation has given the Avocado Light its seal of approval as a product with reduced fat content.

Whether you are creating new brands or breeding new varieties of plants, you need to be aligned with consumer trends. A low-fat avocado doesn’t look like something that is aligned.

The humble avocado’s fat content has been no barrier to it becoming one of the trendiest foods of affluent urbanites – with Millenials, in particular, driving a craze for smashed avocado on toast that at one point was one of the biggest hits on Instagram.

Surging sales of avocado aren’t just about it’s cool factor. In the last five years 328 studies have been published on the intrinsic health benefits of avocados – studies that fuel positive media attention and consumers’ online discussion. Against that back-drop it’s hard to see a low-fat avocado creating a winning point of difference.

However, success isn’t all about health. Avocados are showing up in beverages and that may be where Aguacate Light’s best chance might lie. The company behind it says that it’s juicier and lighter pulp, “makes it ideal for the preparation of smoothies, cold soup, gazpachos, cocktails. So now, avocado can also be drunk.

Drinkable avocadoes? If kale did it with all it’s taste challenges, so can avocado.

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Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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