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AFP’s summer lineup looks to bring avocado category to new heights

No other origin does more to promote the overall avocado category than Peru, and this summer’s activities will again set the standard for avocado promotions – and perhaps all produce categories.

The impressive and diverse lineup of events includes honoring the military, feeding the hungry, preserving the environment, and helping retailers move more avocados by reaching consumers both inside and outside the stores, including at their popular past times – all between June and October.

“The avocado category has been oscillating between 2.7 billion and 2.8 billion pounds for the past five years, despite collectively spending over $100 million per year in promotions, and these programs are designed to inject some excitement and lift the entire category, not just Peru,” said Xavier Equihua, president and CEO of the Peruvian Avocado Commission.

afpSERVING THOSE WHO SERVE
Peru’s summer promotional season kicked off Memorial Day weekend in New York with a Superfood Breakfast served aboard the USS Bataan during the city’s famed U.S. Navy Fleet Week, which celebrates those who serve in the U.S. military.

Equihua was joined by the Peruvian Ambassador to the United Nations, Victor Garcia Toma, lending even more weight to an already momentous event, as well as the Peruvian Brothers – star chefs Giuseppi and Mario Lanzone – who created delicious and nutritious avocado-inspired dishes for the sailors aboard the USS Bataan.

“It was a way of showing our appreciation for the brave men and women who serve in the U.S. military,” said Equihua. “We are the only group they have ever invited to do this and this was our third time doing it, so we were quite honored.”

AFP, MARIANO’S AND CHICAGO FIRE MLS TEAM PRIDE
A unique activation that AFP is launching this year is a three-way marketing partnership with Chicago’s very own Major League Soccer team, the Chicago Fire, and Kroger’s Mariano’s. The three brands will march together at the 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade, scheduled for June 30, capping off Pride Month.

“The Chicago Pride Parade is the second-largest in the country behind New York, and the three brands will be marching together and unveiling the AVO-Fire, a 2024 Tesla Model Y wrapped in the Chicago Fire’s regalia, with Mariano’s and AFP branding,” said Equihua. “This multi-tactical activation will last for 12 weeks during the summer and will feature as its sweepstakes prizes the Tesla Y, a Chicago Fire VIP experience and a $2,000 Mariano’s shopping spree. This first of its kind three-way activation will be executed in the third-largest avocado market in the U.S. The three brands will receive tremendous exposure at the event, with more than 1 million spectators expected to be in attendance.”

AVO-TESLA V.3
Another highlight of this summer’s promotional activities is the third edition of the AVO-Tesla sweepstakes, held in conjunction with the retailer Lidl.

The promotion invites Lidl shoppers to enter the sweepstakes for the chance to win a 2024 Tesla Model 3 wrapped with special Lidl and Avocados from Peru regalia.

“We’ll be running this at Lidl locations in 10 states throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast,” said Equihua. “This is a very fun and unique activation that promotes avocados from Peru nonstop for 10 weeks.”

Aside from helping Lidl move more avocados, the sweepstakes helps demonstrate AFP’s commitment to the environment.

“Tesla is the leading EV manufacturer in the world and is a symbol of the ‘green’ movement to preserve the environment,” he said. “By partnering with them again this year, it reinforces our ‘Eat Healthy, Live Green’ mantra and also sets Peru apart as the most environmentally conscious avocado-producing country in the world.”

afpNATIONAL AVOCADO DAY
As the “Summer Avocado,” AFP is well suited to play a leading role in National Avocado Day on July 31, and this year it will host several Guacamole Challenges that pit local TV and radio celebrities against each in a contest to make the best guacamole in their respective cities.

“We are holding the second edition of the Guacamole Challenge in San Diego on National Avocado Day, in partnership with Grocery Outlet and the San Diego Food Bank. The contestants will be local celebrity TV and radio reporters who will be competing for the coveted Silver Avocado trophy,” said Equihua. “Not only does this bring excitement to the category, but AFP will also be providing the San Diego Food Bank with a donation of a trailer load of avocados for San Diegans in need.”

He said that similar Guacamole Challenges will be held in Chicago and Bentonville, AR, in August, which will also feature a donation of avocados to local food banks.

“August is traditionally a slow media month, so these events will enable us to be media stars during the month, while also benefiting people in need with healthy avocados. AFP is fighting hunger with nutrition,” he said.

ROBUST MEDIA PARTNERSHIPS
Equihua said AFP will be the local media sponsor of the America’s Cup Soccer Championship, the MLB’s All Star Game, and Gordon Ramsey’s Master Chef.

“We have this tremendous partnership with Fox Network, which allows us to provide our retail partners with some of the best media summer programming. We offer them tagged TV spots in the network’s linear, OTT (streaming), and social media,” he said.

RETAIL PROMOTIONS
In addition to the aforementioned special promotions, AFP also will conduct traditional retail promotions, such as e-coupons, display bins, POS materials, paper ripening bags, display and sales contests, and digital support to help retailers move more fruit and elevate the avocado category.

“AFP introduced the concept of instant rebates for avocados at Costco and Walmart many years ago and it has become a strong program with many retailers,” said Equihua. “We also will be doing custom educational mesh bags and introducing the first-ever joint private label – country of origin mesh bag with BJ’s. We love working with retailers large and small, from Walmart to Weis Markets. An important objective of our promotions is to help educate the consumer on how to best ripen, use and store their avocados, as we believe the best customer is an educated customer.”

Equihua said the common retail trade elements that are part of the AFP’s retail marketing support represent a win-win-win scenario for all retailers involved.

“With the coupons and instant rebates, it is our way of helping consumers and giving them a break, especially during this time of inflation,” he said. “All of our promotions are designed to encourage people to buy more avocados, and thus it helps our retail partners sell more avocados. And that is our main goal this year – to help grow the category and move more avocados.”

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