Inflation has turned the restaurant industry upside down, and foodservice product buyers know that the price of avocados can be especially volatile. One of the reasons for that is because the avocado growing season can be anything but predictable.
“Traditionally, there are four different blooms throughout the year,” says Nicholas Williams, marketing manager with Simplot. “Three of them are fairly typical, but the ‘Crazy Fruit’ growing season and its irregularities can lead to product inconsistencies and quality issues.”
The Crazy Fruit season in Mexico typically occurs between June and September, but even that can be unpredictable. This leads to large spikes in the price of fresh avocados—forcing restaurant operators to either pay a premium or seek other ways to source the popular fruit.
One solution? An increasing number of foodservice operators are sourcing frozen avocados. The frozen version of the fruit can be more operationally friendly for several different reasons. Here’s a dive into a few reasons why many operators are turning to frozen avocados.
Frozen avocados bring some semblance of predictability when it comes to food costs—the price of them is relatively stable when compared to the fresh version of the fruit. At a time when food costs are as unpredictable as ever, that stability is no small thing.
“Managing inventory has been a huge challenge for chefs and operators,” Williams says. “Avocados are sometimes jumping up to 150–200 percent and that makes it hard to plan and control your food costs. Frozen avocados alleviate this concern with their year-round consistency and availability.”
Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados are a thaw-and-serve style product. They save time and cut labor costs by eliminating the need to pit and peel each avocado, while also aiding in portion control. With their year-round availability and longer shelf life, they can be a great option for any kitchen.
With the National Restaurant Association recently reporting that 92 percent of operators saying labor costs were a significant challenge for them at this point—and with labor approaching $20 per hour in some markets—having low- or no-prep ingredients in the kitchen can help streamline back-of-house operations.
“I think all chefs have dealt with having less labor, and less skilled labor, over the past couple of years,” Williams says. “That’s one of the main reasons that operators are starting to see the value in frozen avocados, because they don’t require any prep and they can reallocate that labor to other value-added tasks.”
Another advantage of Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados is that operators get 100 percent yield and an extended shelf life—no pits or peels involved. The Simplot product is 99.6 percent Hass avocado from Mexico, with only salt and lime juice added to protect the color and extend the shelf life.
“We take pride in letting operators know that our frozen avocado products are produced during peak harvest season,” Williams says. “This ensures that our avocados are of the highest quality and that their flavor, texture, and nutritional content are preserved. By using our frozen avocados, you can offer your customers the same delicious avocados all year round.”
Even chefs who rely on fresh avocados for some dishes may consider frozen avocados as a worthy item to add into the mix for other applications—and Simplot Harvest Fresh Avocados are a study in versatility. Williams recommends using them when making guacamole, smoothies, salads, or sandwiches—frozen avocados offer great taste and creamy texture, while also delivering excellent performance in terms of consistency and convenience.
“One thing we discuss with operators is that if you have a signature item where you really want to showcase that fresh avocado flavor, then you should keep doing that,” Williams says. “But the beauty of frozen avocados is that they work just as well as fresh avocados in many applications and can be mixed in with fresh avocados to save time and money in the long run.”
For more information on how to add frozen avocados to your operation, visit the Simplot website.