2021-2022 California Avocado Marketing Performance Highlights
At the California Avocado Commission Board of Directors meeting in November, CAC provided its fiscal year 2021-22 marketing performance report, known as the Dashboard. A summary of that report — which covers activity in the areas of consumer advertising, social media, consumer public relations, brand advocates, retail and foodservice programs, trade advertising and public relations as well as research highlights — follows.
The consumer advertising campaign “the best avocados have California in them” continued in 2021-22 and achieved more than 325 million impressions. Impressions are a marketing metric used to quantify the potential views of an advertisement, article or webpage, hearing a radio/audio ad or interacting with a brand or product. These media impressions included more than 107 million from digital brand ads with 56 million of those impressions generated by views of videos and the rest from mobile and display ads. Audio advertising on IHeartRadio, Spotify and Pandora generated more than 33 million impressions with 11.5 million video views. Outdoor advertising including outdoor boards and ads at Volta charging stations near retail locations delivered more than 42 million impressions. Digital advertising targeted specifically to promote California avocado availability at local retailers delivered more than 62 million impressions and included media vehicles such as YouTube and Waze.
The California avocado social media program delivered more than 35 million impressions and nearly 1.4 million engagements with season-long social advertising across the top platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and for the first time, TikTok). LinkedIn, a social platform targeted to a business audience, garnered more than 500,000 impressions with 1,690 followers (a 44% increase vs. prior year). CAC’s 75 posts had an average engagement rate of 4%, which is double the average for the platform.
The Commission’s consumer public relations efforts included a variety of programs that yielded more than 975 million impressions, including 64 million from reactive and proactive news bureau media efforts. With in-person gatherings still limited early in the California avocado season, the Commission hosted a virtual charcuterie board class in partnership with Los Angeles-based food stylist and charcuterie board expert Meg Quinn. Participants for this exclusive event included local, regional and national consumer media, trade media and retail contacts. As part of this program, Quinn developed a charcuterie board and a fruit board featuring California avocados and two new California avocado dip recipes. She demonstrated how to create the board while sharing key messages about California avocados and season timing. Coverage was secured across national and regional publications including Associated Press, The Los Angeles Downtown News and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of California Avocado Month in June, the Commission partnered with Southern California native Chef Nyesha Arrington to create two delicious and seasonal recipes prominently featuring California avocados (California Avocado Crab & Tuna Stack and Grilled California Avocado & Peach Salad), which were promoted via press and mat releases.
CAC also hosted a California avocado grove open house, where attendees experienced first-hand what it takes to grow California avocados – from picking California avocados directly from the trees and watching a grafting demonstration to learning how to create an avocado rose. The PR team also secured four proclamations and one scroll from the following California cities and counties, officially recognizing and celebrating June as California Avocado Month: San Diego County (districts 4 and 5), cities of Santa Paula and San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles County. Through earned media relations, the California Avocado Month program resulted in more than 695 million impressions.
To promote the seasonal availability of California avocados, the Commission partnered with five influencers to serve as this year’s Brand Advocates. The Brand Advocates were chosen based on their significant influence on social media, large viewership on their blog channels and their vibrant content creation. These advocates developed unique recipes promoting California avocados on their respective social media channels, including their blogs, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest pages. Between March and June, the Brand Advocate blog posts and social media secured more than 1.7 million impressions.
In 2021-22 CAC’s Living Well Brand Advocates program worked with four registered dietitians who are health and wellness influencers. The Commission leveraged the passion these trusted experts have for sharing tips and ideas for good health and good food to tell the California avocado healthy lifestyle story as well as communicate the California fruit’s superiority and seasonal availability.
The Dashboard also reported on the California trade marketing activities covering retail, foodservice and export programs in detail. CAC continued its tiered account go-to-market strategy, aligning marketing activities with the distribution of California avocados to optimize brand identification and return value. The Commission’s retail and foodservice trade advertising programs produced 24 paid print ads and 709 paid digital ads garnering more than 38 million impressions. Combined trade advertising and public relations programs yielded more than 52 million impressions.