At a time when businesses are facing unprecedented challenges as they deal with the coronavirus COVID-19, the Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Hass Avocado Board has renewed its commitment to support the industry, said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director.
The board now provides avocado buyers, sellers and marketers with weekly retail scan data from Chicago-based research firm IRI.
“We’ve been posting that information in our newsletter and on our website on a weekly basis,” Escobedo said.
“That kind of information, which has been distributed to all of our members and the public, allows people to understand what is going on with avocados at retail and how retail is changing on a week-to-week basis,” he said.
“It’s a tool to help them navigate this highly volatile retail environment,” he added.
HAB also has released the Avocado Quality Manual — a guide to best practices for handling avocados.
“It’s probably one of the most comprehensive publications of its kind,” Escobedo said.
The manual is divided into seven sections:
- Packinghouses in California;
- Packinghouses outside of California;
- Distribution centers;
- Repackers and fruit ripeners;
- Retail sales (green and ripened fruit); and
- Common fruit defects.
It’s available free at hassavocadoboard.com. A Spanish translation should be completed by fall.
Earlier this year, the board released the interactive Avocado Category Market Development Tool that helps marketers or retailers understand what opportunities are available to grow sales of hass avocados, he said.
The tool includes five key multi-metric models:
- Avocado Category Development Index;
- Avocado Fair Share Analysis;
- Avocado Category Dollar Trend Opportunity;
- Distribution versus Velocity Quadrant Analysis; and
- Avocado Distribution Opportunity.
It covers about 45 markets and can be downloaded for free from the HAB website.
Meanwhile, the board continues to target health professionals through marketing and communications activities.
“The Hass Avocado Board does pretty much all of the marketing and communications targeting health professionals for the entire avocado industry,” Escobedo said.
“It’s our core, target audience, and it’s where we spend the majority of our marketing resources.”
HAB conducted a survey earlier this year to assess the needs of health professionals in their counseling of clients during the coronavirus quarantine.
The survey showed that more than 57% of health professionals, like dietitians and nutritionists, were using online education resources.
“As a result of that, we released a new handout series on our website — loveonetoday.com — to make it easier for health professionals to stay on top of the latest avocado nutrition research and give them free resources that they can easily pass on to their clients,” Escobedo said.
Materials in the board’s outreach communications focus on four health pillars: heart health, type 2 diabetes, weight management and overall healthy living throughout the lifespan — from birth to senior years.
The project has enabled the board “to continue being a relevant partner with the health professionals’ community and their counseling services,” he said.
HAB also has formed a partnership with the American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center, helps health professionals obtain continuing education through an accredited podcast series and features avocados in multiple web seminars with leading dietetic practice groups of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Escobedo said.