Foodservice Events Present Commission with Opportunities to Educate Target Audiences

  • Aug 23, 2023

The California Avocado Commission demonstrated CAC’s position as a resource for all things avocado at two recent industry events — the International Fresh Produce Association Foodservice Conference and the AvoGrove Open House. At each event the Commission showcased the resources it has available to support California avocados on the menu and the sustainable practices of California avocado growers who produce the locally grown premium fruit.

The IFPA Foodservice Conference, which was held July 27-28 in Monterey, California, brought together a record-breaking 2,200+ attendees including restaurant/chain operators, school foodservice professionals, distributors/wholesalers/brokers, produce and allied industry manufacturing companies and members of various commissions/boards and associations. During the conference, CAC participated in educational sessions, networked at packed receptions and met individually with industry contacts at its booth to discuss resources available to foodservice operators. CAC also offered sample servings of California Avocado Cauliflower Ceviche at the booth, demonstrating how fresh California avocados are integral to building flavorful and memorable plant-forward dishes.

On August 3, the Commission hosted its AvoGrove Open House for current and potential chain partners. Sixteen guests representing Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, UCLA Platia, Dog Haus and Buckhorn BBQ & Grill received a behind-the scenes look at what sets California avocados apart from fruit from other origins. California avocado growers Catherine Pinkerton Keeling and Dan and Sue Pinkerton showcased how a multi-generational family business manages growing avocados in today’s economy, shared background stories about their family and discussed the Good Agricultural Practices implemented in the grove.

At a second station, members of Brokaw Nursery were on hand to demonstrate how to graft an avocado tree (and why it’s necessary) and share literature about California avocado varieties. The nursery’s Customer Relations Norma Favila, R&D Manager Consuelo Fernandez, Master Grafter Rogelio Viveros and Field Representative Dan Grant also answered questions posed to them by the attendees.

At the third station attendees enjoyed a chef demo and educational tasting, learning how various spices interact with California avocados to build unique flavors. They sampled California avocado dishes and light snacks incorporating various spices. Tour attendees appreciated the grove tour noting, “Very enjoyable and I learned a lot” as well as “Amazing experience, and how can I support the growers?”

CAC Vice President of Marketing Terry Splane discusses the benefits of California avocados on SPB Hospitality menus at the IFPA Foodservice Conference.

CAC President Jeff Oberman speaking with SPB’s buying group, Produce Alliance.

CAC’s Alexei Rudolf and Dave Cruz discuss the California avocado season with a UC-Davis culinary team member.

Kim Kurata discusses DOD purchases with Santa Cruz School professionals.

California avocado growers share their sustainability practices with AvoGrove Open House attendees.

During the AvoGrove tour Diana Schulman, of Dog Haus, learned how to graft an avocado stem.

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