Course: Entrepreneurship for Sustainability and Resilience
Instructor: Suma Reddy
Done at School of Visual Arts, NYC
Closer Home Eats is a fictional startup firm based out of India that aims to address the urgent need of finding local alternatives of high export volume foods such as Avocado in order to counter the high food mileage and extinction of plant species due to rising monoculture.
Avocados is a highly nutritious and controversial fruit
From its high food mileage to giving rise to "green gold" cartels in the Michoacán district in Mexico, the rising popularity of Avocados has major environmental and social implications.
As compared to only 80 g of CO2 per apple.
The dominance of the alligator skin-like Hass Avocado is giving rise to monoculture farming of avocados, making it a weaker crop, leaving it more susceptible to damage and eventual extinction, like the Gros Michel variety of Bananas.
Yet, despite the controversy, the market trends indicate the rising popularity of Avocados, especially in Asian countries.
India saw an immense increase in the imports of Hass Avocados, which combined with the largest vegetarian population, allowed the fruit to be easily incorporated in the country's diet.
Along with that, veganism is on the rise due to the increased awareness amongst health and climate conscious millennials and gen-z with high disposable income, working in large MNCs in tier 1 cities. It has been accelerated due to the pandemic, and fear of zoonotic, which are animal transferred diseases.
Based upon F&B trends, celebrity culture, rising globalisation, influence of social media, we infer that the popularity of the superfood in India is only going to increase.
By popularising and rebranding the Indian variant of avocado, Butter Fruit
It was introduced in 1906 through Sri Lanka by American Missionaries. Even today many of the trees can be found churchyards and mission compounds in South India. It has adapted to the local climate and has slightly less fat content and nuttier flavour profile.
Currently, India has no commercial nursery participating in production of avocado planting material.
It is grown sporadically in parts of South and North East India, and the state of Himachal Pradesh, away from metropolitan Centres, like Delhi and Mumbai, which have the highest consumption of Hass Avocado.
“The Indian avocado is sold at Rs 500 ($7) per kilo, and Hass avocado costs 1500 ($20) per kg. With outlets in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, Foodhall sell about 400 kilos of Hass avocado, versus only 100 kilos of Indian butter fruit.”
Jay Jhaveri, COO at Foodhall, one India's leading gourmet food stores.
This will be done through partnership with a distribution channel and a research centre.