( Courtesy Military Produce Group )

Retailers can find promotional material for Cinco de Mayo from both Avocados From Mexico and the California Avocado Commission.

The commission has new display bins available for the season and a variety of Cinco de Mayo recipes that can be easily used for in-store demos, said vice president of marketing Jan DeLyser. Available recipes include Cinco de Mayo salad, guacamole, tacos and more.

Creating displays inspired by recipes is always a winner, said Gina Garven, vice president of commercial development and analytics for Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Robinson Fresh.

“The tried-and-true classic of offering a (point-of-sale) guacamole recipe while grouping the ingredients for the recipe conveniently together within the store, even outside of the produce department in a high-traffic area, is a great idea to add additional sales while increasing convenience for customers,” Garven said.

While guacamole is the ultimate Cinco de Mayo dish, stores have a unique opportunity this year to play up tacos as well; Cinco de Mayo falls on a “Taco Tuesday.”

“It will allow for retailers to cross-promote with other categories that drive avocado basket ring,” said Stephanie Bazan, vice president of trade and market development for Avocados From Mexico. 

“Given that guacamole is the core usage occasion for this holiday, produce departments should consider creating fresh guac stations and tying in complementary items for a ‘taco night’ experience.”

Cross-merchandising opportunities always abound for Cinco de Mayo. Avocados and tomatoes are a year-round ideal combination, DeLyser said, but there are many other items that can also be included.

“Two other items with very high affinity of purchase in baskets with avocados are peppers and cucumbers, which with tomatoes, onions, limes, lemons and of course avocados make up the basics of a Cinco de Mayo produce display,” DeLyser said. “Store-made guacamole is a great addition.

“Bringing in merchandise from other departments such as tortillas, tortilla chips, seasonings and beer adds creativity and consumer convenience,” DeLyser said. 

“Produce managers get very creative around this time of year, using piñatas, serapes, hats and more for the Cinco de Mayo theme or bringing local produce together and focusing on a local interpretation.”

Garven noted the holiday is the perfect time to stretch beyond the normal placement for avocados and related items.

“Position avocados in a place people will be influenced to impulse buy — this can be either in a high-traffic area or near high-traffic commodities shoppers are more likely to see,” Garven said. 

“This is especially effective when running an in-store display contest around avocados. People are already thinking about avocados, so why not drive it front and center in a way that other stores might not be as aggressive about?”

Avocados From Mexico has partnered with Tostitos and Bud Light for expanded cross-promotion opportunities.

“Numerator indicates that 25.5% of Bud Light-drinking households purchased avocados during Cinco de Mayo last year and 30.9% of Tostitos tortilla chip households purchased avocados during the same time period,” Bazan said.

“As a result, it makes sense for our brands to partner in our Cinco Central-themed promotion that ties all of our products that allow shoppers to throw a Cinco-worthy Celebration.  

“Avocados From Mexico will be offering various display solutions to generate impulse purchase and drive in-store excitement,” Bazan said. 

“Avocados From Mexico will be featured on Tostitos packaging across five (stock-keeping units) with a guacamole recipe featuring Tostitos salsa verde on the back of its bags. A total of 2 million Tostitos bags will also feature a $2 savings IRC (instant redeemable coupon) on the joint purchase of one bag of Tostitos tortilla chips and three avocados from Mexico. Bud Light will be participating with Cinco thematic displays featuring the three brands.”

Aaron Acosta, corporate relationship manager for Agroexport, which has its main distribution center in Pharr, Texas, and markets the Villita brand, praised Avocados From Mexico for the support it provides retailers and noted that another occasion preceding Cinco de Mayo will further drum up interest in the category.

“We’ve got March Madness, which helps kind of drum up the demand, or the visibility, of Avocados From Mexico, going into our Cinco de Mayo holiday,” Acosta said. 

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