California avocado crop expected to hit 208 million pounds
The official crop forecast for the California Avocado Commission’s fiscal year 2023-24 is 208 million pounds, compared to the prior year volume of 237 million pounds. Weather and market conditions will be key factors for when California avocado growers begin harvesting. The potential for a wet winter may encourage some growers to delay picking to allow their avocados time to increase in size, which could in turn increase the crop volume.
“The California Avocado Commission, customers and avocado lovers are eagerly anticipating locally and ethically grown California avocados in stores, on menus and on plates,” said CAC Vice President of Marketing Terry Splane. “Some very early season harvesting has occurred already and we’re anticipating the volume to ramp up in March and April.”
The majority (196 million pounds) of the premium California avocado harvest will be the Hass variety. The Lamb Hass variety is expected to contribute 6 million pounds, GEM 5 million pounds and another 1 million pounds will come from other varieties commercially grown in California.
The commission supports all California avocado varieties, and in concert with its new agency of record, Curious Plot, is introducing a new consumer advertising campaign. The creative, which is in production now, focuses tightly on the California Avocados brand and is centered on locally grown and sustainability messaging.
CAC is introducing an expanded trade support program, which includes retail and foodservice promotions aimed to reach targeted customers. Key components of California avocado marketing support for these promotions, include video content for both retail customer and California avocado social media platforms, geotargeted advertising aimed at consumers near stores merchandising the fruit, and traditional retail and foodservice marketing tactics.
“The commission is meeting with California avocado growers, handlers and customers now to plan the who/where and when for this season’s amplified trade programs,” said Splane. “Peak availability of premium avocados from the Golden State is expected from May through July.”
CAC’s social media program runs year-round and ramps up leading into the season.
Last season’s social support for California avocados resulted in engagement activity that significantly outperformed CAC benchmarks; this program continues in 2024. As supply continues to increase in March and April, social efforts will gain momentum with activity across multiple channels.