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In the News

First mover advantage avocados

Penny Brooks

8th December 2017

Do you think this is an example of a product innovation which is market led, or product led? M&S have just solved the ultimate middle class problem by introducing a seedless cocktail avocado, as the BBC puts it, "to help avoid all those pesky avocado-related injuries".

I think this is market led. The problem with the common-or-garden avocado is that it can be tricky to peel and to remove the stone - the leading plastic surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Simon Eccles, has said he treats about four patients a week for knife wounds caused by cutting into the fruit, a condition which has become known as 'avocado hand'. The new cocktail avocado is grown in Spain, and comes from the unpollinated blossom which grows into a small fruit which is five-to-eight centimetres long, with an edible skin and flesh which M&S describes as "smooth and creamy". 

Therefore it is only available in December, and previously the crop has been sent to Paris for sale in the top-end food markets there, and to be used by chefs in exclusive Parisian restaurants. However this year M&S has managed to secure an exclusive supply for their shops in the UK - quite a coup for them. 

Not cheap, of course - the BBC reports that there are "approximately" five in a packet weighing 250g and costing £2. Their research shows that a normal avocado costs £1.30 in M&S at the moment. But, of course, this isn't just any avocado - this is a stoneless M&S avocado. I bet they sell out quickly!

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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