Move over Hass & Shepherd, three new avocado varietals are set to land in Australia thanks to Manbulloo.
In news that’s set to shake up the industry – and bougie city cafes – Australia’s largest grower of Kensington Pride mangoes, Manbulloo, has just signed the rights to three new Kiwi avocado varieties.
“Rather than stick with planting even more Hass, when there are some situations where there are just too many Hass around, we wanted to offer customers and consumers a new experience,” Marie Piccone, owner and managing director of Manbulloo Fruit Company said.
“Now we’ve got material here in Australia we want to plant out commercially on a pilot basis, in various regions across Australia to assess the three different varieties,” she said.
In 2022 an oversupply of Hass avocadoes led to turmoil in the industry, with 122,000 tonnes of fruit produced, up from 80,000 tonnes in 2021.
Almost 80 per cent of Australian households buy avocados, with consumption rising last year to almost 5 kilograms per person per year. Industry representative body Avocados Australia has noted that with expectations production will reach 170,000 tonnes by 2026, 2022 wasn’t an anomaly and there’ll be more tough years ahead.
Ms Piccone said with the huge proliferation of Hass all over the world, it was time consumers got more choices with varieties.
“We’ve identified that there is room for other varieties in the avocado industry,” she said.
“The research shows that lots of people are quite available to taste new flavours in avocados.”
More Choice, More Brunches?
The popularity of avocadoes in Australia has seen monumental growth over the last 2 decades. Annual per capita consumption has more than quadrupled, growing from 1.2kg per person to almost 5kgs per person and what was once a 30,000-tonne harvest has exceeded 120,000 tonnes.
“Our most popular food menu item would definitely be the avocado smash on sourdough, without a doubt,” Kelly Behrens owner of Tobruk Kiosk on The Strand in Townsville said.
“Some days I sell out.”
Choosing the Hass variety for its creaminess and consistency, Ms Behrens said she was open to trying the new varieties.
“We’re open to trying anything. If it’s obviously going to be of the same quality and it’s in season when the others aren’t we will definitely try it.”
Will the new varieties be less divisive?
Australians love a Hass avo, it’s undisputed. But ask around and you’ll find that the humble Shepherd avocado is very divisive among consumers.
Manbulloo’s new varieties are like Shepherd avocados in that they’re green skin and don’t go brown when cut.
Ms Piccone said the varieties have a nutty, buttery flavour.
“These varieties are very exciting because they’re all the progeny of Sharwill, which was found in Australia in the 60s or 70s,” she said.
“It never expanded commercially because it was what we call a B-type flower, which means that the flowering and the fruit set is temperature sensitive.
“These three new varieties, from all of our observation, appear to be A-type flowers, which means they’re not temperature sensitive.”