(April 25, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) The Irvine-based California Avocado Commission will roll out a series of promotions — in addition to an extensive advertising campaign — to drive Cinco de Mayo sales.

The campaign features public appearances by celebrity chefs, in-store merchandising support and online promotions.

An estimated 54 million pounds of avocados will be eaten over the holiday, making it the second-biggest consumption period of the year, after the Super Bowl, said Jan DeLyser, the commission’s vice president of marketing.

The celebrity chefs promotion features chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who have created recipes just for Cinco de Mayo.

Milliken and Feniger own the Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev., and Ciudad in Los Angeles.

The online holiday promotion runs from April 18 to May 6, when the commission’s Web site, CaliforniaAvocado.com, will feature a link to a microsite titled Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with California Avocados.

The site will include California avocado recipes and party tips, and a place for consumers to share their guacamole recipes.

To generate traffic at the site, the commission will advertise on the Web site www.allrecipes.com and e-mail Cinco de Mayo-themed recipes to more than 60,000 consumers.

For its in-store Cinco de Mayo promotions, the commission will distribute header cards, channel strips and new high-graphic display bins with the industry’s Hand Grown in California logo.

California avocado promos celebrate Cinco de Mayo
An estimated 54 million pounds of avocados will be eaten during Cinco de Mayo, making the holiday the second-biggest consumption period of the year, after the Super Bowl, said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission.