Mexico to supply bulk of avocados for Super Bowl

12/31/2008 12:00:00 AM
Bob Luder

“The Super Bowl will be carried mostly by Mexico.”

Mexico appears ready.

“You’re going to see a lot of volume coming out of Mexico to meet that demand,” said Emiliano Escobedo, marketing director of APEAM, the Association of Producers, Packers and Exporters of Avocados of Michoacan, Mexico.

“We have an opportunity to move a lot of fruit.”

To maximize those opportunities, a lot of promotion has been planned or already is under way, Escobedo said.

“APEAM has launched a radio and TV campaign to reach out to Anglo and Hispanic markets in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio in Texas, and also Chicago and New York,” he said. “We started the campaign in November, and it’s going to run through the Super Bowl.”

APEAM also has an online promotion at avocadofiesta.com, where customers are encouraged to enter videos best promoting the fruit for prizes.

“We’re also giving retailers good POS (point of sale) material,” Escobedo said.

Super Bowl Sunday has always been a big day for retail stores, according to Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for Publix Super Markets Inc., Lakeland, Fla. And in-store promotions are ramped up for more than just avocados.

“In general, it’s a very big day,” Brous said. “And, with the Super Bowl being hosted in our state this year, it’s especially being emphasized. Avocados, fruit platters, veggie trays are all good sellers.

“There are plenty of (in-store) displays. We often cross-merchandise items, such as avocados and peppers for dips. We encourage stores to be creative in their displays.”

The quality of the Mexican avocado crop looks very good, Escobedo added. And, more good news for consumers fighting to survive a rocky economy, prices are down from a year ago.

Prices early last year for a 25-pound carton ranged from $36 for 48s to $29 for 60s and $25 for 70s. Currently those prices are $26 for 48s, $25 for 60s and $23 for 70s, according to Wedin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Dec. 30 reported two-layer cartons of Mexican avocados at $24.25-25.25 for 32s, 36s and 40s, and $21.25-22.25 for 48s.

“The dynamics might be different as to where the avocados come from,” DeLyser said. “But the fact remains there are going to be ample opportunities for solid promotion.”


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