Chilean avocado prospects enthuse marketing agents

07/08/2009 03:48:37 PM
Jose Escobedo

 
While grower-shippers report a bumper Chilean avocado crop this year, many of them show much enthusiasm about the numerous marketing efforts for the coming season.
 
“Now that we have a big crop we must promote the fruit so it moves fast along the markets,” said, Adolfo Ochagavía, president of the Chilean Hass Avocado Committee, Santiago, and director of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association, Washington D.C. “Therefore, we must create new promotions.” 

Not only is a larger crop expected for the 2009-10 season but also a corresponding budget for developing and executing a strong marketing campaign.

Maggie Bezart, marketing director for the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA), said “We set a budget based on the estimated volume. This season we estimate 310 million pounds of Chilean avocados to be exported to U.S., august through February as oppose to the 180 million pounds that were exported last year.” 

Bezart said this year there is a far broader campaign with a total estimated CAIA budget of $6.6 million to include a consumer/retail spot media program worth $2.8 million that includes advertising in radio, TV and outdoor billboards and a retail campaign of $1.88 million to promote with our valued costumers.

On June 9, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association held its 2009-10 Chilean season kickoff meeting to present to its members an overview of the complete marketing strategy and promotion programs for the up-coming season.

“We basically presented the logistics of the program and where we would be targeting these promotions this season,” Bezart said.

Doug Meyer, vice president of sales and marketing for West Pak Avocado Inc., Temecula, Calif., said there is a very strong marketing effort under way with the Chilean avocado team.

“My entire sales team attended the meeting, and it was great to hear about all the great promotions they are doing not just in retail, but also in food service,” he said.

Robert Lucy, president of Del Rey Avocado Co., Fallbrook, Calif., said, “Maggie Bezart’s presentation was excellent.

“She brought her staff and presented to us TV and radio commercials that are going after the consumer. There is a great deal of money being spent,” he said. 

Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado Corp., Escondido, Calif., also attended the meeting and said the campaign should be very affective because the CAIA is focused on giving support and assistance to retailers in markets throughout the U.S.

The CAIA’s marketing efforts include a wide array of educational and promotional campaigns that will start in early September.


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