Meet the Avozilla: SA's monster avos are bigger than ever, and causing excitement in the UK

Business Insider SA
The average Avozilla is six to ten times bigger than the normal avocado. Photo: Westfalia
  • South Africa's trademarked Avozilla avocado is even bigger this year. 
  • The fruit, grown in Limpopo, is up to ten times bigger than a normal avocado.
  • Most of the avos are exported, and this year's crop caused much excitement in the UK.
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South Africa’s giant Avozilla – a trademarked avocado grown in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo – is even bigger this year, much to the excitement of UK shoppers.

The fruit usually ranges from 1.2 to 1.7kg each, versus the average avocado at around 200g.

This year, the fruit has averaged around 1.5kg, roughly half a kilogram heavier than previous yields, says Julia Tew, an executive at Westfalia Fruit, which owns the Avozilla trademark.

“Fruit size is a factor of both natural inherited genetic and growing conditions. The bigger fruit available this season is a culmination of good growing conditions and good farming practices,” Tew said.

She stressed that the fruit is neither genetically modified nor treated with growth-enhancing chemicals. 

A Westfalia farmer found the feral mother-tree growing in the lush natural forest around Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo. 

The Avozilla in its natural habitat in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo.

There are three sub-species of avocados, and the Avozilla is a cross between two of these races, Tew said. 

The West Indian sub-species of avocados grow especially large, but the fruit are typically watery and slightly sweet. The Guatemalan type of avo has the typical buttery, nutty taste that avocado lovers prefer. 

Avozilla is a cross between the two, meaning it tastes better than the typical "butter pear" (a pure West Indian variety) and it is also more disease resistant, says Tew. 

“Westfalia Fruit has trademarked ‘Avozilla’ for its range of giant avocados, so the market will be seeing more of Avozilla and its relatives in the future."

While a limited number of Avozilla avos were available in flagship Checkers stores in Gauteng this year, the majority of the crop was exported.

They landed on the shelves of Tesco stores in the UK and Ireland in recent weeks, to much excitement:

An advertisement for the Avozilla in Ireland. (Tesco)

The Avozilla costs around £4 (R86) each in the UK.

When it was first launched in the UK in 2013, it was "only" five times bigger than a regular avocado - it is now ten times larger, the Independent reported.

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