Super Bowl drives avocado demand

01/09/2006 12:00:00 AM
Chris Koger

While the avocado industry sees the Super Bowl as its biggest holiday, Chilean, Mexican and Californian avocado marketers will use it as a steppingstone to higher consumption all year.

The three production areas, through the Hass Avocado Board and groups representing each region, work together to reach new consumers and boost sales in core markets, DeLyser said.

“What we’ve seen with year-round availability and from multiple sources, there’s been more fruit available for Super Bowl promotions at retail throughout the country,” she said. “It will be stepped up for the Super Bowl, but because it’s a media-heavy event, there’s an opportunity for a broader reach for a longer period of time.”

California’s crop, estimated at about 500 million pounds for the coming season, will be harvesting sooner this year, DeLyser said. With Chile’s volumes waning sooner than last season, California shippers will have more of a market share for the Super Bowl, she said.

The Mexican Avocado Importers Association and Michoacan Avocado Producer and Exporting Packer Association plan to have advertising and marketing campaigns in the weeks leading to the game, said Chris Tully, president of The Preston/Tully Group, Garden City, N.Y. Tully’s advertising agency oversees campaigns for both groups.

This Super Bowl, the exporters association plans to focus on Texas markets for the first time. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture opened Texas to Mexican avocado shipments in January 2004, advertising campaigns had been locked in for months already.

“The big difference is that we’ve had a year to prepare for this,” Tully said about the Texas campaign, which includes radio announcements in English and Spanish.

The importers association will have three weeks of radio ads in eight markets before the Super Bowl, and New York chef Scott Campbell plans to be busy on game week, appearing on dozens of television and radio programs throughout the country on a satellite media tour.

Requests for the satellite feed, in which a chef prepares soups, dips and other avocado dishes in studio kitchen in New York, were so heavy that some were turned down, Tully said. Julian Medina, another New York chef, also will be available for the satellite tour for Hispanic audiences.


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