Mr. Avocado

May 7, 2024
Scott Sauer, Sr. Manager, Communications
Scott M. Sauer

Sr Manager Containerboard Communications

ed arriaga standing in front of avocado boxes

As the freshly picked avocados tumble down the sort line, Ed Arriaga's eyes widen with excitement. Under his hairnet he can't help but reflect and crack a smile. As IP’s avocado expert, he knows the journey avocados have taken to be among the most popular fruits in the world.

“25 years ago, people didn't know what to do with avocados," Arriaga said.

Arriaga made it his goal to learn everything he could about the fruit, earning him the nickname, “Mr. Avocado."

Arriaga compares the avocado industry to an interconnected family – everything is about relationships.

"Like my colleagues, I'm in customer facilities all the time. It's part of the experience we try to offer. We want them to know that our success is their success." 

                     - Ed Arriaga

Walking the floor at one of his customer locations, Arriaga's greetings jump from Spanish to English, laughter filling his interactions as if he's seeing a dear friend.

“I've been to graduations, baptisms, weddings, you name it," said Arriaga. “Without the relationship, there is no trust. Our customers have complete confidence that we will provide the highest quality box, customized to their specific needs."

In the not-too-distant past, avocados went to retailers, green and harder than a rock. Today, ripening chambers allow growers to time their supply chain so an avocado arrives at a store, nearly ready to eat.

“As our eating habits have evolved, avocado demand is higher than ever. IP has been able to grow with our customers and evolve our box designs to keep up with the rise in popularity," Ed explained.

Mr. Avocado is preparing for his twenty-eighth harvest. Yet his passion to live out Our Customer Promise to do the right things for our customers at every moment, in every experience, is stronger than ever.