Not that all messages require one voice.
Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission, said there are times when associations representing individual growing regions should, and do, go their own ways.
“We really kind of do both,” DeLyser said. “Programs that are targeted toward seasonal volume that’s coming from each individual area, and communications efforts that are coordinated in the sense we’re not trying to go into the same markets at the same time.”
And for good reason, DeLyser noted.
“We have a lot of responsibility to our stakeholders to spend the assessment in the best way possible,” she said. “I think you’re seeing how that coordination feeds the growth of the avocado category. It has grown really, really strongly in every region of the country.”
The “one-voice” philosophy is a work in progress, said Phil Henry, owner of Henry Avocado Corp., Escondido, Calif.
“I’d say there has been some effectiveness on unifying the message,” Henry said. “I think all the associations are talking about similar things about the nutritional benefits of avocados and the value and taste of avocados.
“I think there has been some coordination in promotional efforts and the timing of promotions in coordinating them around the Super Bowl and events like that. Certainly, there have been efforts made, and they’re all trying to work as best as they can together.”
Henry also agreed with DeLyser in citing the need for some individualized programs.
“They do represent growers from different areas and different harvest timing, so they are doing promotions for a time of year they believe is most effective for their growers,” he said. “Of course, that does result in year-round promotions, so I think they’re making an effort and there’s been improvement.”
Such cooperation and coordination is on a fairly recent phenomenon in a diversified industry, Henry said.
“I think it’s been good, and they will continue to work and continue to improve on it,” he said.