We often don’t think of marketing as something that’s necessary for edible produce. After all, doesn’t a crate of ripe, creamy avocados entice customers all on its own? The reality that we’ve seen this year is that marketing California avocados really does increase sales. Here are some key facts on the avocado market and the early 2021 campaigns that have gotten the season off to an especially strong start.
The California Avocado Market
As of 2020, California is the largest producer of avocados in the United States. The state has around 3,000 avocado growers working with 50,000 acres of land. While California produces seven different varieties of avocados, the locally-created Hass variety is by far the most popular — making up 95% of the total volume of avocados produced.
Due to consumer demand for organic fruit, an increasing number of avocado growers are choosing to cultivate California avocados using Integrated Pest Management and certified organic techniques. This makes avocado an excellent tree-fruit crop for boosting the health of the environment as well as boosting the health of consumers.
Marketing California Avocados
Finding the best channels for selling your fruit usually falls to the individual grower. However, marketing often takes place at the industry level. In California, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) is the primary industry body for marketing avocados.
The CAC’s Past Campaigns
In previous years, marketing efforts from the CAC have focused on Valentine’s Day and “first of the season” Big Game promotions for ensuring successful in-season avocado sales. Campaigns would typically focus on in-store promotions such as cooking demos and samples, as well as special displays and sales contests.
What the California Avocado Commission Did Differently in 2021
This year, the California avocado industry has instead focused on Spring and Easter as the focal points for promoting the new season of avocados and has turned to social media campaigns along with prominent placement of avocados in retail displays featuring the CAC logo.
Turning to Social Media
Because social distancing has made in-store demonstrations less practical, the CAC has moved online to share avocado-based recipes and photos digitally. These new, adaptive strategies appear to be working well with both Gelson’s and Mollie Stone’s running successful avocado campaigns in partnership with the CAC.
How to Capitalize on This Year’s Avocado Market Trends
If you are an avocado grower in California, there are several things you can do to boost your avocado sales and take advantage of this year’s heightened demand:
Invest in High-Quality Packaging
Post-harvest packaging makes a huge difference to your sales. Firstly, your corrugated cartons must be avocado specific to avoid bruises and product spoilage. Secondly, eye-catching graphics and printing help to promote your brand. Providing contact details for your farm on the box will allow retailers to contact you and order directly.
Find Multiple Outlets for Your Fruit
When you have a large number of avocados ready to go, you may need to sell them through multiple avenues to ensure the entire crop gets sold. While some sales may happen direct-to-customer or on roadside stores, selling to local grocers, retail chains, distributors, and brokers can help you sell more fruit, faster.
Hop onto Social Media
California avocados provide the most local option for customers wanting to reduce their food miles, and this is a value you can capitalize on through social media. With the help of a knowledgeable social media marketer, connect with your customers through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to boost direct sales of your fruit in the community.
Join Recognized Industry Organizations
Industry organizations like the California Fresh Fruit Association and the California Avocado Commission exist to help you to grow more successful crops, sell your fruit at a good price, and have your interests recognized by the government. Joining the organizations that represent your specific crop allows you to strengthen your collective voice and also helps you improve your sales.
Final Thoughts on the Avocado Market
Encouraging the sale of California avocados is a step towards helping the environment and strengthening relationships between growers and consumers. As we have seen this year, marketing is an incredibly important tool in this process.
If you’d like more ideas about marketing your fruit through custom-designed corrugated and industry partnerships, contact Fruit Growers Supply Company. With over 100 years in the industry, we are experienced in helping California’s producers thrive. Contact our team for solutions that work!