Meet Luna: The Hass Avocado’s Lower-Maintenance Cousin

By: Kaydee Ambas · August 01, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Luna Avocado

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside released a new type of avocado known as the Luna UCR; aka the Luna. This new variety grows on a smaller tree that’s easier to harvest than the standard Hass avocado.

The Luna Avocado is the final product of over 50 years of breeding and development. The Luna is poised to solve a few major problems in the agricultural industry — as long as avocado fans love it as much as the popular Hass.

Hass vs. Luna

The popularity of the Hass avocados has exploded since the turn of the century, with annual sales rising by more than 3 billion since 2000. In fact, there’s so much demand for avocado dishes that Chipotle (CMG) built its own proprietary machine — the Autocado — to peel avocados en masse and keep the line moving.

But while Hass avocados might be a treat for consumers, they’re much tricker for farmers to grow. Hass avocados can only survive in specific growing conditions. On top of that, the fruit size starts to shrink the older the tree gets. Not only is this a hassle for farmers, but it can also lead to avocado shortages, translating to higher prices for customers.

Luna trees, on the other hand, have proven capable of producing more fruit per cubic meter. Plus, they’re easier to harvest and store well.

The Picky Eater Test

On paper, the Luna is a great alternative to its Hass cousin, due to the benefits associated with growing it. But will it pass the picky eater test?

According to industry insiders, the Luna tastes pretty similar to the Hass. But the biggest differences are a thicker peel, smoother skin, and a slightly less creamy inside.

Either way, consumers won’t get a chance to make up their minds for 3 to 5 years. That’s how long it will take for newly-planted Luna seeds to start producing fresh avocados. But if guacamole tastes slightly different to you in 2028, remember this story. It’s probably not the Mandela Effect — just a new “moon” rising.

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