California avocado crop expected to be down slightly
The California Avocado Commission anticipates its fiscal year 2022-23 harvest will come in at 257 million pounds of avocados, a slight decrease compared to the 2021-22 season crop volume of 276 million pounds. When announcing the crop outlook, CAC also unveiled its marketing plans for 2023.“The recent California rainfall has been welcomed by our growers throughout all districts,” said Jeff Oberman, president of CAC. “Growers have related increased sizing and crucial replenishing of water sources, during my recent visits to all production regions. We do not yet know if there will be any change to the expected harvest timing, however excitement is building from our retail partners for the kick-off of the California season.”
The majority (243 million pounds) of the California avocado harvest is expected to be the Hass variety. The remaining forecast is Lamb Hass 7 million pounds, GEM 6 million and about 1 million from other varieties that also are being commercially grown in California.
Weather and market conditions will be key factors for when California avocado growers begin harvesting and some growers may delay picking to allow their avocados time to increase in size. Oberman noted that there likely will be some harvesting in time for the big game, with limited volume available for local promotions. California avocado volume is expected to begin ramping up around March, with peak availability from April through July then tapering off through Labor Day.
“The commission’s media plan and new creative executions are in development with an expected launch in April,” said Oberman. “We are eagerly anticipating peak California avocado season in the spring and summer months with additional volume for promotions and customized marketing support.”
CAC is continuing its advertising campaign “the best avocados have California in them” with new creative executions to keep the communications fresh. Content will include helpful California avocado tips, grower spotlights and new creative videos that demonstrate just how special California avocados are. Customized retail and foodservice promotions with targeted customers are key components of California avocado marketing support, including recipe and video content for social media platforms. During the season, the commission keeps California avocados top of mind for avocado shoppers by geotargeting consumers near stores merchandising the fruit.
The commission’s social media program runs year-round and ramps up leading into the season. In February, activity with targeted and promoted retailer content supports the early harvest. As California avocado supply continues to increase, social efforts will gain momentum in March, with support across multiple channels. Throughout the season, CAC will showcase California avocado recipes, tap into cultural moments and reinforce the California difference through education and entertainment.