As avocado consumption has grown in the U.S., suppliers of Chilean product have seen to it that their retail strategies have been more aggressive and diversified.
The Chilean Hass Avocado Committee and Chilean Avocado Importers Association cite their “Grab Some for the Game” retail promotion, geared toward football, as an example.
The marketers try to tailor a promotion to fit the needs of individual retailers, said Adolfo Ochagavia, president of the Chilean Hass Avocado Committee in Santiago.
“There may be some radio advertisements, where they can tag their brand, and also some billboards, promotions at point of sale, like a display contest,” he said.
Then, there’s the “Grab Some for the Game” promotion.
“Each retailer is able to design the appropriate campaign for them, at the city, state or regional level,” Ochagavia said.
Marketers have seen consumption take off in the U.S., and they are determined to keep the momentum going, said Maggie Bezart, marketing director for the Washington, D.C.-based Chilean Avocado Importers Association.
“We’re really focusing on those households that are heavy users and super users,” she said.
The “super heavy” category, which represents 48% of household volume of avocados, accounts for about 14 avocados per month per household, Bezart said, citing the Hass Avocado Board’s Avocado Tracking Study conducted in the spring of 2012.
Bezart said 41% of avocado-buying households are “heavy users,” which equates to six avocados a month.
“What if we got the super-heavy and the heavy-use households to move to one avocado a day? It would have a 179% volume increase,” Bezart said.
That would alleviate any concerns about keeping product moving, Bezart said.
“The heaviest, super-heavy users showed they were more interested in the nutritional attributes than the low and moderate users,” she said.
“Taste and nutrition were the top two reasons they buy an avocado.”
CAIA will focus its radio and billboard advertising in major markets in the Western U.S., Bezart said.
“The highest percentage of our fruit will go to the West, but we will have other programs going to the East,” she said.
Avocados are not considered a specialty item anymore, so retail promotions and displays have to be larger, more noticeable now than before, said Ed Odron, owner of Ed Odron Produce Marketing Consulting, Stockton, Calif.
“They’re in ads regularly and they’re priced aggressively,” Odron said.
“Avocados have become more than Super Bowl thing, and displays have to reflect that,” he said.
That means a variety of retail promotional efforts, said Dana Thomas, president of Bloomington, Calif.-based Index Fresh Inc.
“Like most produce items do, we do demos, we do in-stores, display contests for produce managers. We have consumer promotions where people can win things, we have radio tags in most of the major markets, we’ll pay for ads for retailers, we support retailers’ in-house programs,” he said.
All of the above have proved effective in driving consumption growth over time, he said.
Multiple displays also help, said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing with Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc.
“A lot of the markets that were underdeveloped, especially as you go east of the Mississippi, used to only have one display, and now they’ll have two or maybe three displays, so you’re giving consumers options from which to choose, and a lot more people now east of the Mississippi are running really high-quality ripe programs,” Wedin said.