Peru will get a little extra push in kicking off its seasonal promotions, since June is World Avocado Month.
But promotions don’t stop there, said Xavier Equihua, CEO and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Peruvian Avocado Commission/Avocados From Peru.
Beginning in June and in celebration of World Avocado Month, the commisson is playing sponsorship roles in Peru’s World Cup soccer matches June 16 and 21 in Russia, as well as Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game July 17 at Nationals Park in Washington.
The commisson will be present on-air as Peru’s national team plays Denmark June 16 and France June 21.
“Given the increased supply of Peruvian avocados this season, we will be focusing many of our marketing tactics around retail trade activity alongside supreme consumer tactics,” Equihua said.
Peru plans to export 660 million pounds of avocados from mid-April to mid-September, with as much as 170 million pounds possibly bound for the U.S., Equihua said.
The commisson is offering “various strategic co-marketing opportunities, from which retailers can specifically tailor their preferred programs,” he said.
“On the consumer side, we will continue to showcase the nutritional benefits and versatility of Peruvian avocados.”
The commisson will collaborate with the California Walnut Board during the summer in promoting both organizations products as “superfoods” throughout the season, Equihua said.
“This collaboration will allow consumers to taste various nutrient-dense and delicious recipes made with delectable Peruvian avocados and California walnuts — two supreme high-quality superfoods.”
Planned demos include salads, smoothies and avocado-walnut-yogurt bowls, Equihua said.
Demos will be held, beginning June 15, across the U.S. and at various Costco stores in Europe, he said.
The Baltimore market is a focus of another wave of promotions from the commisson. Fans attending Baltimore Orioles games over Father’s Day weekend, June 16-17, will have free Peruvian avocado toppings available with any food purchase.
In addition, visitors at Baltimore’s Maryland Zoo will have a chance to participate in “Peru at the Zoo,” the first avocado promotion at a zoo in the U.S. Zoo visitors will receive free Peruvian avocados and ripening bags.
Consumers in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and other cities also will see the return of the #AvoBus — city buses wrapped in an image of Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel.
The commisson is paying particular attention to a corridor along the U.S. East Coast, from Boston to the Washington-Baltimore areas, Equihua said.
“It’s an amazing consumption area that really didn’t exist, I’d say, even 10 years ago,” he said.
The commisson’s 2018 strategic marketing program also will include increased trade and consumer advertising, retail incentive programs, high-profile partnerships and various social media tactics to further engage consumers.
The commisson plans to break its 2017 record of 6,500 demos with the retail trade, with more than 8,000 this year. Promotional tools available to retailers include mobile ads, display bins and ripening bags. Consumer-focused plans include radio ad spots.
“We’ll work with our traditional retail partners, and we’ll add new partners to the list,” Equihua said.
The commisson says it will run full-page ads in regional editions of several women’s magazines to communicate Peruvian avocados’ health and beauty benefits.
The commisson will continue a collaboration with “global ambassador” Fooddeco by creating avocado recipes shared on the Peruvian Avocado website and social media channels.
Suppliers say they will aggressively promote Peruvian avocados this season.
“We typically work to enable our retailers to schedule promotions, but we help guide when those promotions should take place based on peak volumes,” said Kevin Leap, avocado category manager with Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Robinson Fresh.
“Based on anticipated volume for this year, most of the summer months will be excellent timing for promotions.”
Peruvian growers are ready to support all promotional efforts, said Jose Antonio Gomez Bazan, the commisson’s vice chairman.
“One of Peruvians’ great advantages is that through programs, they can offer consistency and reliability from the beginning to the end of the season,” he said.