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Avocados From Mexico strategy looks to move avocados from exotic to everyday

Avocados From Mexico Inc., the newly formed marketing agency dedicated to the Mexican avocado industry, is allocating $36 million to grow the category and propel the "Avocados From Mexico" brand.

To implement this strategy, Tim O'Connor, chief executive officer of Avocados From Mexico Inc., will appoint Arnold Worldwide as integrated agency of record, and Ketchum as public relations agency of record. Launching nationally beginning in July 2013, the organization's first fully integrated campaign aims to move the avocado from exotic to everyday.

Earlier this year, AFM Inc. announced the appointment of O'Connor, the former president and CEO of the U.S. Potato Board, to lead the newly formed marketing agency.

Creating AFM Inc. is an important milestone for the Mexican avocado industry. The organization is the result of an unprecedented collaboration by the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association and the Mexican Avocado Producers and Packers to combine resources and develop and manage a common brand for the Mexican avocado industry.

"The selection of the best agencies to represent our brand was an intense process," O'Connor said in a press release. "After narrowing 52 proposals down to 11 presenting agencies, Arnold and Ketchum were the definitive winners. They clearly understood our vision for the brand and demonstrated the strategic focus and creativity we need."

"Winning Avocados from Mexico Inc., is a unique and compelling opportunity that doesn't come along very often," Pam Hamlin, president of Arnold Boston, added in the press release. "Engaging the hearts and minds of people and inspiring them to use avocados everyday is an incredible creative challenge. We're thrilled to get started and channel our passion into fueling the growth of the avocado marketplace."

"We're honored to continue our relationship with this rapidly growing, vibrant brand that has so much to offer health-conscious consumers and foodservice operators as a delicious addition to their meals," Rob Flaherty, CEO of Ketchum, added in the press release.

As the only avocados available year round, Mexican avocados contribute more than 60 percent of the U.S. supply. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, Mexican avocados surpassed 1 billion pounds in annual shipments.

The avocado industry has experienced steady growth over the past five years. From 2010 to 2011 alone, avocado sales grew 11 percent to $2.9 billion. Despite this impressive sales increase, there are still millions of consumers who don't buy avocados, creating a significant opportunity for AFM Inc. and its new agencies to drive continued growth for the category and the "Avocados From Mexico" brand.

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