• It has been found that avocados could be an effective cancer treatment, research says.

It has been found that avocados could be an effective cancer treatment, research says. (Photo : Twitter/@PlanetGreen)

More Chinese are now consuming avocados, with the importation of the fruit jumping 375 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Health benefits and lowering cost are among the reasons for its popularity. With 45 percent of Chinese considering themselves to be overweight, many were willing to pay more for "all-natural" foods, according to a 2014 Nielsen survey.

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Also known as "alligator pears," avocado is deemed a high-end product in China. However, its price has dropped over the past two years, hovering around 15 yuan or $2.26 per fruit, which is on par with the price of a little over one pound of chicken breast, or 1.5 liters of local beer.

The trend was also cited as a big reason why there is increased consumption of avocado in China.

Most avocado consumers in China were Western expats who reside in first-tier cities like Beijing and Guangzhou. When the locals started looking at Western trends "to see what's cool," it boosted avocado consumption among them, according to Brian Gomez, vice president of avocado supplier Greenfruit Avocados.

Since avocado isn't part of traditional Chinese cuisine, it did not automatically appeal to local consumers.

Pagoda, a specialty fruits supermarket, boosted its sales soar by giving out recipes, preparation instructions, and free samples.

Mexican importation of avocados to China is growing by 200 percent annually. Both Peru and Chile have also started exporting to China with South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States also thinking about following suit.

The Chinese government is also willing to develop local avocado production and introduce policies to help Chinese growers, according to senior consultant Thibaud Andre of Daxue Consulting, a market research and management consulting firm with a focus on the Chinese market.