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California avocado forecast weighs in at 292 million pounds

The California Avocado Commission has updated the forecast for its fiscal year 2020-21 to 292 million pounds, which is an 8 percent reduction from its pre-season crop estimate and in the range of an average size crop. Fall and winter weather events, including heavy winds, resulted in the slight forecast change, with the reduction occurring in the pre-season months. California avocado peak season is expected during a 15-week period from late April through August, with available volume before and after the peak period.

Jan DeLyser
Jan DeLyser

“We are anticipating an excellent season in 2021, with promotable volume and a full complement of creative California avocado marketing support starting in the spring,” said Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission vice president marketing.

To support this year’s harvest, the commission plans to continue the advertising campaign “the best avocados have California in them,” targeting avocado shoppers in California and the West. Most media support will start in March, including audio and out-of-home advertising as well as digital programming, which includes digital “television” via Hulu and YouTube.

Social media is an integrated component of CAC’s marketing, amplifying the reach and engagement of seasonal programs and continuing brand enthusiasts’ interest year-round. The commission takes a hands-on approach to social content, being sensitive to the social and political climate while engaging consumers and communicating key messaging such as California avocado availability. Brand advocates, including registered dietitians, chefs and bloggers reach targeted consumers in their areas of influence on their own social channels and websites, on CAC’s social channels and the recently redesigned CaliforniaAvocado.com.

Brian Malarkey
Brian Malarkey

Customized retail and foodservice promotions with targeted customers in the West as well as in other parts of the country continue to be key components of the commission’s marketing support. Among other programs, customers can participate in CAC’s store locator feature that guides shoppers and patrons to locations carrying California avocados.

For the commission’s season opener activity CAC is partnering with Brian Malarkey, a local California chef and restaurateur perhaps best known for his appearances on the television series Top Chef. Malarkey will serve as a brand spokesperson and host an online cooking class for influential media, dietitians and California avocado brand advocates. The unique and interactive cooking experience for attendees will feature two fresh recipes showcasing California avocados, and will promote the fruit’s seasonal availability from spring through fall.

“We are looking forward to getting going with this season’s California avocado marketing support,” said DeLyser. “Some growers have begun harvesting because of favorable market conditions so we will see volume build in March and April.”

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