Mexico’s avocado marketing season accelerates as the winter peak production period approaches.
It’s a key season for the world’s largest producer of avocados, said Alvaro Luque, president of Avocados From Mexico Inc., Irving, Texas.
“Avocados are not a summer fruit. They are a product that has its greatest sales peak in the winter, where Avocados From Mexico represents almost 100% of the market,” Luque said.
The marketing program cranks up during the late fall, with football well underway, Luque said.
“Football season is extremely important for avocados, and we are investing a good part of our budget here,” he said, mentioning football’s status as the top spectator sports in the U.S., and guacamole — the most popular use for avocados — is a top snack.
Luque calls it a perfect fit for marketing.
“You will see a bold and innovative plan for this football season, including trade promotions, media, digital, and some major events around the sport,” he said.
There also will be multi-level promotion that will launch for consumers, retailers and foodservice clients, Luque said.
“Winter is fun for AFM, a nice part of our year-round availability,” Luque said.
AFM was created jointly by the Avocado Producers and Exporting Packers Association of Michoacan and the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association in 2013 to develop stronger marketing efforts in the U.S., said Rob Wedin, vice president of sales and marketing with Santa Paula, Calif.-based Calavo Growers Inc.
“They’ve got basically all new management and (a) really good budget, because budgets are driven by volumes,” he said.
As production peaks in the winter, marketing efforts multiply, Wedin said.
“They’re really able to spread their wings,” he said.
In the fall, marketers target football audiences and traditional Hispanic customers, Wedin said.
“As we get into winter, I think really part of the odd role, the role we play, is making sure we’re giving the price and volume assurances to the trade,” Wedin said.
“We’re currently accelerating that, particularly on smaller sizes.”
The upcoming winter will see the most active marketing campaign ever, said Gary Caloroso, marketing director with Giumarra Agricom and Giumarra Borquez, Escondido, Calif.
“We are excited to see that AFM is willing to deepen the already-strong relationship between avocados and football,” he said.
“Our nation’s most popular sport provides our industry with a great opportunity to get consumers really excited about all of the different uses of avocados.”
There are other activities, too, said James Milne, executive category director for avocados with the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group, which offers Mevi brand avocados from Mexico year-round.
“The Hass Avocado Board and Avocados from Mexico are leading the marketing campaigns by promoting nutrition and usage messages to increase consumption,” Milne said.
Meanwhile, Mevi is phasing in its own strategy by introducing Miss Mevi, “an aspirational working mom character who adeptly brings avocados into many areas of her family’s life,” Milne said.
The character appears on the newly launched Mevi website, www.meviavocados.com, and will share tips, recipes and more on a blog and on social media, Milne said.
“We expect to see Miss Mevi on in-store materials eventually, as well,” he said.
Promotions formerly were geared more for particular events than spread over seasons, said Giovanni Cavaletto, vice president of operations with Riverside, Calif.-based grower-shipper Index Fresh Inc.
“I’ve got to sell avocados 52 weeks a year, so we’ve got some exciting things going on,” he said.
“As more money has gone into promoting avocados, we have to promote them all year long, so it’s not just Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo, for sure.”
According to the Irvine, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board, 99.1 million pounds of avocados were consumed on Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.