California Avocado Export Promotions in South Korea Exceed Benchmarked Goals

  • Sep 06, 2022

With avocado handlers continuing to export California avocados to South Korea, the California Avocado Commission utilized Market Access Program grant funds to develop digital and in-store promotional activities in this market. Since avocados are relatively new to consumers in South Korea, these programs were designed to generate California avocado brand awareness as well as awareness of the nutritional value and versatility of the fruit. Throughout April and May of 2022, the Commission hosted verbal demos with California avocado signage, virtual and in-person cooking classes, partnered with celebrity chefs and ran online marketing to generate demand, increase sales and build loyalty for the Golden State fruit. All of the promotional activities exceeded benchmarked expectations.

The Commission conducted verbal demos at 35 targeted Emart stores, one of the top retailers in South Korea, from April 15 – 17 and April 21 – 23. Because of the pandemic, verbal demos were held in lieu of in-store samplings. The demos took place near California avocado displays and signage while personnel engaged with consumers and communicated key brand messaging. Each consumer who purchased the fruit received a California Avocado cutter and a leaflet with information concerning the benefits of the fruit. The activities exceeded the 20% volume increase goal set by CAC, with volume growth leaping by 128% as compared to last year and sales growth expanding by 105%.

On April 19, Celebrity Chef Boeun Lee held a virtual cooking class on the Cookpia YouTube Channel. During the session she shared key California avocado nutrition information with viewers while demonstrating how to incorporate California avocados into meals that can easily be prepared at home. The video — which showcased Rice Wrapped in Greens with California Avocado Sauce and a California Avocado Smoothie — received 18,005 views and 392 likes, outperforming last years viewership and engagement, exceeding CAC’s goals to garner 1,500 total views and 150 likes.

CAC’s Celebrity Chef Partner Young Bin Kim held cooking classes on April 27 and 28 at the ELX R&D Center. Thirty participants learned about the California avocado nick and peel method as well as the nutritional value of the fruit. Chef Kim demonstrated the versatility of the fruit by preparing California Avocado Tuna Salad, California Avocado Spring Rolls and California Avocado Chocolate Cookies. The event smashed CAC’s goal of earning a minimum of 5,000 engagements by securing 11,886 engagements.

The Commission also collaborated with five renowned chefs who host their own YouTube channels and have experience appearing on various South Korean TV cooking programs. Each of the chefs crafted unique California avocado recipes, demonstrated how to nick and peel an avocado and discussed the health benefits of the fruit. Their videos will be housed on their YouTube channels for six months. The unique recipes created by the celebrity chefs are as follows:

  • Yeonbok Lee — Braised Scallops with California Avocados
  • Edward Kwon — California Avocado Open-Faced Sandwich, Crab Roulade with California Avocados and California Avocado Tomato Tartar and Garlic Crostini
  • Gerrad Park — Open-Faced Chicken Sandwich with Creamy California Avocado Mousse
  • Leo Kang — California Avocado and Lobster Cannelloni
  • Minjoo Yoo — California Avocado Cheesecake and California Avocado Ice Cream

The Commission’s benchmark goals for the YouTube chef marketing promotions were 5,000 total views and 200 total likes per chef. CAC surpassed those goals securing a total of 292,062 views, 6,045 likes and 484 comments. The average views per chef’s YouTube channel was 58,412 views and 1,209 likes.

Rounding out the promotions, from April 21 – 27 the Commission ran advertising on, one of the biggest online shopping platforms in Korea. Each customer who purchased the fruit received a California Avocado cutter. Again the Commission’s South Korean promotions exceeded expectations with a 72% sales and volume growth increase compared to the prior week (the benchmark goal was 20%).

Verbal demo at Emart store.

Virtual cooking class with celebrity chef Boeun Lee.

Celebrity chef Young Bin Kim demonstrating a recipe for the 30 attendees at the in-person cooking class.

California avocado recipes created for the five celebrity chef recipe videos on YouTube

California avocado ad on the online shopping platform in Korea.

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