Avocados From Peru has introduced a brand mascot as part of a refreshed 2018 social media strategy, which draws inspiration from Peru's heritage and the existing Peruvian Avocado logo. ( Courtesy Peruvian Avocado Commission )

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the Washington, D.C.-based Peruvian Avocado Commission from implementing its usual high-profile, onsite promotional events this summer, but it didn’t stop president and CEO Xavier Equihua from touting his favorite fruit.

“Everything is working out really well,” Equihua said as he outlined what Avocados from Peru has done to help move Peruvian avocados in the U.S. for the past two to three months.

The commission was the first avocado association to introduced the instant redeemable coupon concept for avocado bag purchases in a “large macro way” with various retailers at the same time, he said.

Before this year, the trend was to use e-coupons, he said.

The commission also used traditional and new media to sing the praises of the fruit.

Avocados from Peru is the first association promoting avocados to launch a 19-market TV buy in the summer that includes retailer tags in top NBC, Fox and Telemundo sponsorship programing, such as “World of Dance” with Jennifer Lopez, “The Titan Games” with Dwayne Johnson, “Master Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen” with chef Gordon Ramsay and “La Voz” with Jacqueline Bracamontes and Jorge Bernal.

“The FOX spots include, for the first time, the image of chef Ramsey,” he said.

Avocados from Peru also tied in with NBCUniversal’s new Peacock on-demand streaming service.

All of the commission’s thousands of TV spots were tagged with retail partners, Equihua said.

“We are the only ones tagging retailers,” he said. “It’s very labor intensive.”

The commission also used other vehicles to reach consumers and remind them of the benefits of avocados.

Equihua chose two parallel messages this season emphasizing the importance of eating healthy while staying home during the pandemic and teaching consumers how to ripen avocados.

“Many people don’t know how to ripen an avocado properly,” he said.

The commission also racked up thousands more downloads of its first cookbook, “Cooking with Avocados from Peru,” which was released in 2015 and has been translated into 12 languages at the request of retailers in several countries.

Equihua also had a “soft launch” of his latest cookbook, “Avocados in Bloom,” which he wrote with brand ambassador Colette Dike.

He is planning a bigger kickoff for the new publication next year, when he hopes to be able to hold in-person events.

“It’s hard to do a launch without events,” he said. 


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