This year’s California avocado volume will come in at a little more than half of 2016 production, and the California Avocado Commission’s marketing will involve a “targeted” approach.
Despite some consumer media stories stating that California had a short avocado crop in 2016, the commission reported that last year’s harvest was “above average” in volume, at 401.4 million pounds, and added that it also was the third-highest California avocado crop value on record.
A smaller forecast in 2017 — about 225 million pounds — will mean a tighter window of supply and marketing efforts focused to match distribution, according to a commission news release.
Because of this year’s below-average avocado volume, marketing efforts will prioritize the “strongest” customers in the western U.S., said Jan DeLyser, the commission’s vice president of marketing.
Commission marketing efforts have been trending toward more targeted approaches, anyway, DeLyser said.
“It’s going to be a really targeted promotion this year, so we’re supporting our customers who are promoting our fruit — accounts who have demonstrated loyalty to California avocados,” she said
At the same time, DeLyser said, early supplies have been steady and should remain so.
“This year, if you think about last year and compare to this year’s volume, it’s been a little steadier,” she said. “Last year, there was a little heavier volume early and through the spring, and this year, volumes are reasonable but not at the high-volume level, and that has created a more stable market. Those will continue through the spring and summer.”
The commission’s Made of California marketing campaign will continue in spring and summer, DeLyser said.
Commission representatives have visited groves and report the fruit quality is good and that “early sampling of the crop confirms the quality should be excellent this year,” Commission chairman Rick Shade said in a news release.
He noted a larger crop one year often is followed by a smaller one the following season, and that appears to be the case for 2017.
“The recent rains in California are good for this year’s crop as well as for next year’s,” Shade said. “We’re evaluating what the rain will mean in terms of harvest timing. While some California avocados are already in distribution in a few local chains, in general it looks like a ramp-up of harvesting in mid- to late spring.”