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CAC launches multi-pronged promo effort

By
Tim Linden

Though the California avocado industry has a smaller crop this year, the California Avocado Commission continues to have a robust promotional program, albeit a more efficient one with an emphasis on social and digital media.

The commission has allocated about $4 million for its promotional budget with digital streaming accounting for 67 percent of it. The remaining $1.3 million is split among audio, search engines, social and outdoor advertising in descending amounts. The audio and digital advertising will be confined to the March through August time slot. Social media and search engine promotions take place on just about a year-round basis.

California Avocado Commission Vice President of Marketing Jan DeLyser said the crop is an “average” crop with about 20 percent fewer avocados than in 2020  CAC has focused its promotional efforts in the West with a tiered approach targeting retailers and foodservice accounts that have shown an interest in selling and promoting California avocados. While most of the volume does stay within California’s border, there are many other customers in the West and retailers across the nation that are devotees of the state’s fruit.

In its promotional efforts, CAC is targeting what it calls Premium Californians. A ‘Premium Californian’ has bought an avocado in the past six months, will pay more for quality, is brand conscious, likes adventure, honesty is an important attribute in their sphere and she doesn’t have to live in California.  About 53 percent of the time, the avocado buyer is female. Other common attributes include an income above average, married with children and college education. The super users is a key subset of the Premium Californian group. Those are huge consumers of avocados and are specifically targeted by CAC’s promotions.

These shoppers tend to be heavy users of social and digital media, which is why CAC uses those mediums to reach their targeted audience. DeLyser explained that digital media refers to banner ads, online radio ads and video pre-roll ads. Social media refers to platforms that allow for two-way conversations such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Sharing recipes through social platforms as well on specific recipe sharing sites is another strategy the commission utilizes.

The videos, artwork and messaging CAC uses tie directly to its California theme. For example, one of the taglines exclaim: “The best avocados have California waves in them.” Similar taglines feature other catch words that create a California image. On the consumer public relations front, CAC uses a variety of strategies to increase the use of California avocdos, including recipe contests, cooking classes, grower videos, social media brand advocates, and website artwork and graphics.

CAC appeals to retailers by sharing research touting the premium price consumers pay for a California avocado over other brands. DeLyser revealed that in California in 2020, California avocados received a 7 percent premium in f.o.b. price on average with that premium rising to almost 30 percent in late August. Over the past four years, California avocados have received an average of a 16 percent premium in the f.o.b. price during their peak marketing season.

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