It’s too early for an official forecast of how many avocados Chilean growers will ship to the U.S. market this season, but some importers expect volume to be less than last season’s 27 million pounds because of drought conditions in that country.
However, Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association, said Chile has had significant rainfall during the fall and winter, which has contributed to larger fruit size.
The association has a wide range of events, retail marketing programs, advertising and social media activities planned to promote Chilean avocados.
The season for Chilean avocados in the U.S. typically runs from late September or early October through February.
The association has two merchandisers who work with retailers on targeted, focused promotions for retailers throughout the country, Brux said.
“Demos are always popular but, in light of COVID-19, we will likely shift our focus to digital marketing programs,” she said.
CAIA plans to run a strong branding campaign for Avocados from Chile that will encompass tactics such as advertising on Hulu, Pandora, Mind Body Green and ESPN.com, she said.
While some components of the association’s marketing program are seasonal, social media is ongoing, Brux said.
“We develop a ton of original content for all our social media platforms and work with numerous influencers to extend the reach of our messages.”
Numerous giveaways have generated a lot of engagement with the Avocados from Chile brand, she added.
CAIA will continue its partnership with Chilean PGA Tour golfer Joaquin Niemann, who became the first PGA Tour winner from Chile and, at age 21, the youngest international PGA Tour winner since 1923.
The partnership includes social media, digital TV spots and trade advertising, with a focus on Joaquin’s Instagram, which now has over 90,000 followers, Brux said.
As of last September, fans of Avocados from Chile have been able to download a free digital calendar for their desktop or mobile device.
On the first of each month, a new seasonally inspired illustration is released so consumers can download and keep their calendars up-to-date, Brux said.
“This is just one element of CAIA’s campaign that encourages consumers to ‘Pick up a little Inspiration’ with Avocados from Chile.”
CAIA sponsored the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival and the San Diego Fit Foodie Run last fall and hopes to do so again, she said, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.
Meanwhile, despite the pandemic, Chile’s fresh fruit industry is moving forward safely and without interruptions, Brux said.
“Strict protocols and best practice guidelines were quickly developed and have been enforced throughout the supply chain,” she said.
“Companies are working diligently to safeguard the health of their staff and provide consistently high-quality fruit to markets around the world.”