Fourth of July avocado consumption expected to top 100 million pounds
Spring and summer are key times for California avocado availability and the California Avocado Commission is offering back-to-back programs in support. The commission kicked off its programming in April with season opening activities followed by its American Summer Holidays program in May, California Avocado Month activities in June and programs for the Fourth of July.
CAC’s June California Avocado Month activities this year included a sponsorship of the venerated Grand Central Market in Los Angeles. The food hall, in the heart of the city, turns 100 years old this year, and is a popular spot for foodies and tourists alike with more than 90,000 visitors each month. For the entire month of June, 11 market vendors featured California avocado dishes at their restaurants. CAC hosted a media preview at the venue in late May. Bloggers and other media shared information about the event and California Avocado Month, including outreach by LAist, DineLA and FoodBeast.
“Magic can happen when you get bloggers and the media to try the California avocado dishes created by talented chefs,” Jan DeLyser, vice president marketing of the California Avocado Commission, said in a press release. “We have been blown away by the media coverage of CAC’s Grand Central Market sponsorship, which has exceeded 82 million impressions so far.”
The commission’s California Avocado Month advertising incorporated print and in-store radio as well as Pandora audio targeted to where California Avocados are in distribution. It was supported by social media that has generated 8.2 million impressions to date. Retail support for California Avocado Month has run the gamut with one chain featuring store-wide programs involving multiple departments, a display and sales contest, a featured recipe in their service deli and Father’s Day activities. Another retailer created a BBQ theme event supporting California avocados that included an online social media recipe contest and a team member wellness challenge.
On the heels of its June marketing support, CAC supports a push for Fourth of July. “After five years of promoting California avocados for Fourth of July, the holiday has become one of the biggest avocado consumption events of the year,” DeLyser said in the press release. “This year the commission is continuing to market California avocados and California avocado recipes for the American Summer Holidays, from barbecue to salads to baking.”
CAC’s United Plates of America promotion, which launched prior to Memorial Day, features recipes that combine California avocados with American regional specialties. For the Fourth of July, the commission partnered with Chef Ryan (Peaches) Lamon, the executive chef and co-owner of Peaches’ Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen, who is perhaps best known as the winner of the Cooking Channel’s "Food Truck Race Off" in 2014. Chef Lamon created and promoted new recipes that highlight how easily California avocados can elevate one of America’s favorite regional cuisines — Southern barbecue.
Extending the United Plates of America program, CAC’s social media will feature a Route 66 theme, including a blog post, a carousel on Facebook and supporting Twitter polls about select Route 66 stops. Print advertising continues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento, along with in-store radio and Pandora audio.
Digital advertising has played a big role in California avocado marketing this year, and CAC’s American Summer Holidays creative will be running on Food52, Tasting Table, Nativo and PureWow. Nativo also will feature two custom articles: Four Ways to Celebrate Fourth of July with California Avocado and 5 All-American Ways to Celebrate With California Avocado.
Additionally, customized retail support — including demos, point-of-sale materials and display bins — will run in support of the United Plates of America program. Retailers are using CAC’s United Plates of America recipe booklet showcasing 18 recipes and tips pairing California avocados with “plates” from the U.S., particularly California and the West.
The avocado industry forecasts that avocado consumption for Fourth of July festivities will be 100.8 million pounds, which is about on par with Fourth of July 2016.