Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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170 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | June 2016 Fresh Food Produce Category Spotlight displays are well stocked and maintained, that choice always equals higher velocity through the department." California Calling About 90 percent of the nation's avocado supply comes from California. Tis year's crop is estimated at about 390 million pounds — about 40 percent larger than last year's — with availability from March through September. To strengthen the connection between avocados and the Golden State in this year of abundance, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has launched a vibrant marketing campaign. "It builds on the groundbreaking California avocado grower campaign, communicating that California avocados aren't just made in California, but made of California," says Jan DeLyser, VP marketing for CAC, in Irvine, Calif. Te campaign features a new theme, California by Nature, supported by consumer advertising, including traditional broadcast and in-store radio and print ads, as well as social media and digital marketing. CAC is also working with chefs, blog- gers and dietitians to encourage consumption of California avocados. On the retail front, CAC is providing display bins that complement the new advertising creative. DeLyser notes that the commission's retail market- ing directors are also working with retail partners on customized marketing programs featuring California avocados. At this point, avocados have been a hot item in fresh produce for a number of years. Where does the industry go from here? "Tere is absolutely room for continued growth in avocado consumption, both in the U.S. and world- wide," asserts DeLyser, who points to a recent IRI FreshLook household panel data study indicating that only 42 percent of U.S. households outside of California purchase avocados from retailers. "Tat leaves more than half of the potential audience untapped," notes DeLyser. "In California, during California avocado season, retail household penetration is much higher (66 percent), but there's still room to convert more consumers here to be- come avocado lovers." When it comes to merchandising that sells, DeLyser afrms that a dedicated ripe avocado pro- gram is of the utmost importance, but promoting Labeling avocados as healthy is a very positive step. The consumer perception and understanding of avocados is at a very high point right now, and this will help to maintain the momentum." —Robb Bertels, Mission Produce

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