The politics of guacamole are coming to the Super Bowl.

Americans will chomp through huge amounts of avocados mashed into guacamole during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and 80 per cent of those fruits will come from Mexico’s ever-larger expanse of orchards, thanks to a free market created by the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994.

New England Patriots player Julian Edelman contemplates a plate of guacamole during a Super Bowl interview in Houston. Photo: AP

It is peak season for guacamole, a word that means avocado sauce in Mexico’s native Nahuatl language.

About 100,000 tonnes of the green fruit, or 12 per cent of annual US demand, will be consumed on Sunday and in the days before and after the New England Patriots game against the Atlanta Falcons, exporters say.

With such market dominance and demand, growers such as Adrian Iturbide doubt whether President Donald Trump’s eagerness to impose duties on Mexican goods will dent exports.

They feel they have little to fear from proposals by the Republican such as a 20 per cent blanket tariff on US imports from Mexico, that would affect sales of “green gold” to the northern neighbour.

Avocados From Mexico, an organisation that represents Mexican growers of the fruit used in guacamole, is running an ad during Sunday’s game – a move that thrusts the group into a polarising debate.

With Trump’s threat to slap a border tariff on Mexican goods, a product that would have been utterly benign in past years is suddenly tinged with controversy.

Avocados on sale in a store at Mercado Hidalgo, the central market in Tijuana, Mexico. Avocados on sale in a store at Mercado Hidalgo, the central market in Tijuana, Mexico. Photo: Getty Images

Like many brands in the Trump era, Avocados From Mexico faces a marketing dilemma.

The US is the largest market for the crop, and the Super Bowl draws the nation’s biggest television audience. But it’s harder than ever for companies to stay above the political fray.

“We don’t pay much attention to the political situations that are around us,” Alvaro Luque, president of the Texas-based group, said.

“There is no other county on planet Earth that can give you enough avocados to cover the US – we’re not going to abandon this market, regardless of whatever happens.”

This is the third straight year that Avocados From Mexico will advertise during the game, which draws more than 100 million viewers in the US. But there may be more pressure to win over consumers this time around.

The ad is slated to run during the game’s first commercial break. That means – whether intentional or not – it will serve as a high-profile reminder of the wide-ranging impacts of a potential border tax, particularly on Mexican produce.

Still, the decision to run the 30-second spot was made before the election was decided in November.

The ad was produced to draw laughs and is not tied to the current debate over a potential tax on imports from south of the border, Luque said.

It was only 10 years ago that Mexican avocados became widely available across the US. Since then, the fruit has surged in popularity, with the value of imports jumping 129 per cent from 2009 to 2015.

The proposed tariff could raise avocado prices a few cents apiece, said Ramon Paz, an adviser to the Avocado Producers & Exporting Packers Association of Mexico.

Most of the work involved in turning avocados into guacamole happens in the US, he said.

While the value of Mexican avocados at the border was about $US1.5 billion in 2015, the amount jumps to $US3.5 billion after they’re processed. That work creates jobs in the US, and has helped push the price for California crops higher as well, Paz said.

The Super Bowl happens to coincide with the peak of the Mexican growing season for avocados. And the popularity of “guac” at game-watching parties makes the event a natural advertising venue.

But with the North American Free Trade Agreement under fire, the branding push has taken on broader meaning, Paz said.

“We’re concerned with all the discourse that is anti-trade and anti-Mexican,” he said.

“We hope we’ll be able to present the facts about the benefits of the trade of avocados from Mexico.”