Sales of Chilean avocados in the EU are soaring, but the UK still remains one of the smallest markets for the fruit.

After one of the most successful seasons to date, with 156,000 tonnes of the country's 206,000 tonne production exported, growers in Chile had only shipped 7,200 tonnes of Hass avocados to the UK.

Alhough this represents an 18% rise in UK business on 2005, the increase was dwarfed by total exports to Europe, which rocketed 127% to 41,000 tonnes.

According to the Chilean Hass Avocado Association, which is currently planning its 2007 campaign, progress is being made to convert British consumers to the fruit. Efforts to educate the shoppers about the health benefits of avocado had been a success, it said.

Recipe and information booklets went into more than two million packs. The association also sponsored a London fireworks display where more than 2,000 free Chilean hotdogs were given out.