LENEXA, Kan. — How about some avocado with that watermelon?
That’s the question the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission hopes retailers and restaurant operators ask consumers this Fourth of July, which the commission is targeting as the summer version of the Super Bowl for avocado consumption milestones.
Dan GalbraithJan Delyser, vice president of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, and Fred Wilkinson, news editor of The Packer, sample some of the recipes the commission is highlighting to promote avocados this summer. The avocado commission visited The Packer offices March 9. "Our goal is to make the Fourth of July the first- or second-(ranked) consumption event in the marketplace," said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the commission, during a March 9 visit to The Packer’s offices. "Our hope is that this is what the buzz will be all about this year."
DeLyser said estimates put Fourth of July consumption at about 80 million pounds for aggregate volume from all suppliers to the U.S., which would allow the holiday to surpass Super Bowl consumption by about 10 million pounds.
"If the projections are true, it will happen this year," she said, noting that Fourth of July sales for California avocados could actually surpass those of both the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo. "The best thing about the Fourth is it’s smack dab in the middle of our season, so the supply equation is very favorable for us. It’s a time when California will be the main source of supply.
"The Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo have gone back and forth as the leaders in consumption over the past 10 years, generally running neck and neck in first and second place. As an example, in 2011 Super Bowl (64.7 million pounds) exceeded Cinco (54.9 million pounds) but in 2012 Cinco is projected at 81.2 million pounds, compared to the 71.4 million pounds of the Super Bowl," DeLyser said.
For Fourth of July consumption to accomplish the lofty feat, it would need to greatly improve upon last year’s figure of 54.5 million pounds. Independence Day consumption in 2010 reached 72 million pounds.
The California avocado season is generally mid-April to mid-September.
Through its "Go Red, White, Blue & Green" promotion, the commission hopes to emphasize the "All-American Avocado" by showing its uses in dishes with watermelon and berries, along with cross-promoting it at retail with King’s Hawaiian Bread.
King’s will include recipes for California Aloha Sliders, featuring the state’s avocados, inside 1 million packages this summer and will participate in co-branding in the American Summer Holidays recipe booklet as part of this year’s point-of-sale materials, DeLyser said.