Fall presents particular promotional opportunities for tropical produce, but marketing agents are emphatic about the year-round attractiveness of their products.
“Guacamole’s not just for the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo,” said Mary Ostlund, marketing director of Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals Inc.
“Guacamole is perfect for fall’s crisp weather. You don’t stop there — add salsa displays that cross-promote tomatoes, avocados, papayas and more.”
Tropicals also fit into new approaches to old items, as well, Ostlund said.
“If you’re looking for the next dip/topping to cross-merchandise, think relish,” she said.
“North Americans are beginning to see that relish isn’t just about pickles any more.”
Fall also is tailgating time for football fans, and tropicals fit well into that motif, Ostlund said.
“Folks are looking for healthy ideas to grill and serve in stadium parking lots across the U.S.,” she said. “Give them fresh ideas about fresh produce.”
Some marketing agents say they don’t have a particular promotional program for the fall season.
“We promote literally 12 months a year, so we don’t have what would be called a ‘fall promotion,’ but we’re always doing in-store demos and retail promotions all year long,” said William Watson, executive director of the Orlando, Fla.-based National Mango Board.
“We’re also doing a lot of consumer outreach and working with foodservice distributors.”
Summer tends to be a busier time for mangoes, he said.
“We tend to get more activity in the summer months simply because so much of the fruit comes from Mexico and volumes are much higher,” he said.
“We’ve got some promotions going on now that probably will roll off into the fall. We also have our merchandisers talking to the retailers as we speak about ways that they can promote a fall crop for mangoes. But we do not differentiate one crop from another.”
Michael Warren, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central American Produce Inc., said his company doesn’t do any season-specific promotions.
“We promote at a time when we have promotable volumes coming out,” Warren said.
“We plan that ahead with the retailers. They’re always looking at promotions ahead. It depends on the volumes, and the volumes show we can go ahead with promotions.”
Others take advantage of fall tie-ins with football and the Major League Baseball playoffs.
The Hass Avocado Board is one of them.
“HAB continues to develop demand-creating programs related to college football and avocados,” said Jose Luis Obregon, the Irvine, Calif.-based board’s executive director.
“Retail and foodservice programs are handled and executed by the individual associations, (the Chilean Avocado Importers Association and the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association).”
The avocado board will be working, for the first time, with the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, the CAIA and MHAIA in a joint promotion tied to college football, Obregon said.
“It will be a media buy on Fox Sports in conjunction with a strong PR and online support,” he said.