Commission Leverages the Power of Third-party Retail Advocates

  • Sep 04, 2018

Throughout the California avocado season, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) works closely with select top-tier retailers to develop customized assets, in-store programs and outreach initiatives that showcase the nutritional benefits of avocados and feature the California Avocado brand. In doing so, the Commission helps support retailers with California avocado messaging tailored to their customers that can help drive sales, while also encouraging consumers to enjoy the fruit as part of a healthful lifestyle. Because retailers’ in-store, print, online and social media promotional programs are integrated across all channels, the Commission’s key messages gain traction with an expansive targeted audience, ultimately growing awareness of the California Avocado brand.

To raise awareness of California avocados’ healthful benefits, the Commission created a Superfood Spotlight showcasing how California avocados can benefit gut health. The printed material was distributed to more than 200 retail registered dietitians (RDs) who shared the informational piece with more than 5,000 consumers.

Seven Albertsons stores in California and other mountain states conducted California avocado samplings. More than 3,200 samples and 1,000 California avocado cutters were distributed, as were customized handouts featuring California avocado messaging and four California avocado recipes developed by Albertsons. As part of the partnership, CAC Retail Marketing Director Connie Stukenberg, joined Albertsons’ Wellness Services Coordinator at a Pavilion’s Newport Coast California avocado demo. To round out the promotion, the Albertsons and Safeway Facebook pages hosted a Facebook Live event and shared an Albertsons’ blog post entitled, “Seafood and Avocados: Summer Staples.” The social media campaign earned 360,000 impressions with an average engagement rate of 49 percent and more than 58,000 10-second video views.

As part of Hy-Vee’s newly launched “Healthy You Mobile” program, the Commission sponsored 100 PSA screenings. In addition, CAC joined the retailer’s “Men’s Health” initiative, which included 35 tour stops. The promotion kicked off with a video showcased in front of a California avocado display and included more than 7,000 copies of CAC-produced recipe brochures and Superfood Spotlights. As a result of the customized promotions, the retailer reported a nearly 37 percent increase in California avocado sales over June 2017. The campaign also garnered more than 4.6 million news segment impressions and more than 1 million social media impressions.

California avocados were a central part of Raley’s month-long wellness promotion that focused on the nutritional benefits of California avocados, their importance as a good source of fiber and the role they play in gut health. As part of the initiative, California avocado tote bags filled with a variety of California avocado-branded promotional items were included in a raffle. As part of the chain’s “Bike to Work” day, California avocados, recipe booklets and cutters were given away.

The Commission also hosted a Grove Media Tour for key influencers including retail dietitians from Gelson’s, Raley’s, Schnucks and PCC Community Markets. Attendees shared their California avocado grove experiences on retail blogs, Facebook and Instagram platforms with Gelson’s coverage garnering more than 56,000 impressions and Raley’s coverage reaching more than 60,000.

The Commission’s Retail Marketing Director Connie Stukenberg joined Albertsons’ Wellness Services Coordinator Elaine Magee, MPH, RD at a Newport Coast California avocado demo.

Hy-Vee RD staff hosted PSA testing that featured Commission materials and fresh California avocados.

As part of the California Avocado Grove Media Tour, CAC staff and agencies, including Angela Fraser toured a grove and a California avocado packinghouse with key influencers including retail RDs from Gelson’s and Schnucks.

Gelson’s promoted California avocados on the retailer’s blog, in their employee newsletter and on the chain’s Twitter and Instagram channels.

CAC Superfood Spotlight.

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