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How do drug cartels and avocado police fit into the story of everyone’s favourite Chipotle ingredient? It’s a bit of a long story, so let’s start at the beginning.
The avocado was a late bloomer in the world of food trends:
Originally predominately known as the “alligator pear”, the avocado was a late bloomer in the world of food trends. Far from a “magic food”, it looks a bit… different.
If you’ve ever held an avocado, the description of “alligator pear” seems quite apt – the scaly skin of an avocado does seem rather similar to the rough, scaly skin of an alligator. Is it any wonder that they weren’t terribly popular under that name?
In reality though, underneath that rough exterior is something incredibly delicious – it just took quite a while for most of us to catch on.
California Avocado Growers’ Exchange:
Avocados had an ally in the form a southern California growers group called the California Avocado Growers’ Exchange. This group of well-to-do farmers had a strong belief in the taste (and profitability) of the humble avocado.
They embarked on a mission to rebrand the avocado, and their work would leave an endearing impact on our minds, hearts, and taste buds. They engaged a public relations firm and embarked upon a mission to educate consumers about what the avocado was, and how it was the luxury ingredient missing from their lives – and their diets.
The effort to rebrand the avocado was a remarkable success, and it only encountered two major hiccups. The first was the anti-fat movement of the 1980s.
The delicious fruit contains good fats:
Nutritionists began to advocate against diets high in fat, and that definitely impacted sales of the avocado, which is a high-fat fruit (you don’t get known as a butter fruit if you are low-fat after all).
However, subsequent discoveries about the differences between “good” and “bad” fats vindicated avocado lovers everywhere as that delicious fruit contained the good fats. A TV ad campaign to build national awareness (featuring Angie Dickinson) helped bring people back.