Avocado, The New Superstar Fruit

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This should come as no surprise to readers of The Kitchn (who ate up—pun intended—a recent roundup on all things avocado) but avocados have had a major mass-market breakthrough in recent years. What was once considered a sidekick to tortilla chips is now the go-to source for heart-healthy fats…

According to The Wall Street Journal, avocado sales in 2011 totaled $2.9 billion, and the first half of 2012 was 30% ahead of the same period last year. Major fast food chains like Panera Bread Co. and Subway have added avocado to their sandwiches, while restaurant chefs increasingly sing its praises. “The fruit is used for balancing acidity and spiciness,” says Roberto Santibañez, owner of Fonda restaurants in New York.

Helping to propel avocados to their new superstar status is the idea that they’re a good source of healthy fats, with both mono- and polyunsaturated fats. They’re also a “‘nutrient booster,’ helping the body absorb fat-soluble nutrients, like alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, when consumed with food sources at the same time,” according to the Hass Avocado Board, a marketing group representing producers and importers.

And, they just taste so good. As Stephanie Mueller, a Washington, D.C., public relations executive says, “[avocados] have a creamy mouth feel. That is so critical to brand influence and acceptance… It’s rare to find foods that taste so good and are actually good for you.”

Read More: Breaking Out Of Guacamole To Become a Produce Star | The Wall Street Journal

(Image: Dana Velden)