Brand advocates key to California avocado marketing
Bloggers, chefs, dietitians and other personalities have become valued communicators for the California avocado marketing program. They work with the California Avocado Commission consumer public relations programs, health and wellness initiatives, social media outreach, website content development and other marketing programs.
“Brand advocates are a key part of California Avocado Commission marketing because they are trusted communicators,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president marketing of the commission. “These influencers build awareness of the California avocado season while disseminating brand messaging and creative ideas and recipes that encourage demand.”
For the 2021 season CAC is partnering with six popular bloggers. These influencers are creating unique recipes showcasing California avocados. For example, in March, Ashley Boyd of Pink Owl kitchen promoted her recipe, Tropical Avocado Smoothie, featuring California avocados and including four fruits plus herbs. Blogger Brandi Crawford gave avocado toast a produce-loving twist using planks of sweet potato as the toast and topping them with mashed California avocados and options for savory additions or fresh berries. The other four bloggers in the program also are building awareness for California avocados throughout the season.
With these partners, the commission augments its online consumer reach, communicating that California avocados are in season. Utilizing highly popular social media platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase the brand advocate recipes using California avocados, CAC’s reaches a larger target audience.
CAC’s Living Well Brand Advocates 2021 program features a holistic nutritionist and wellness educator, four registered dietitians and a popular recipe developer. These influencers weave in California avocado messaging and the nutrition benefits of avocados into communications that highlight nutritious California avocado recipes that they develop. This season, each of these advocates is developing content around a lifestyle trend that aligns with their area of expertise. For example, registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix developed content around the popular concept of “meal prep,” demonstrating how her recipe for Stuffed California Avocado with Mediterranean Salmon could be used for three related but different meals.
All the influencers create material that differentiates California avocados versus avocados from other countries. In May, California-based registered Wendy Jo Peterson, who is the author of Air Fryer Cookbook For Dummies, and Instant Pot Cookbook For Dummies, weaves in information about California cuisine and avocado nutrition while she shares California avocado recipes prepared in a multi-cooker appliance. CaliforniaAvocado.com features the new recipes and images. Content also will be shared on the brand advocates’ social media platforms with video and images and events such as Facebook Live, as well as regional traditional media and web articles.
Chefs are the third pillar of the California avocado brand advocate program. The commission’s online cooking class with celebrity chef Brian Malarkey at the end of March promoted the official kickoff of California avocado season to influential media and retail contacts. The attendees received fresh ingredient boxes ahead of the event for two California avocado-inspired dishes and enjoyed cooking on camera along with the chef. Chef Malarkey posted about the event and his recipes on Instagram to his more than 35,000 followers. Outreach from the cooking class participants has garnered more than 34 million impressions to date.
“California Avocado Commission marketing including our brand advocate program fosters awareness and sales,” said DeLyser. “IRI/Freshlook data confirm that the California avocado season is a fundamental driver of avocado category growth, and it is driven by greater sales velocity during our season.”