Retail Partnerships Help Commission Share the California Avocado Experience

  • Sep 06, 2021

To show support for retailers carrying California avocados and help them promote the availability of the fruit during peak season, the California Avocado Commission reached out to select retail dietitians, retail cooking school directors and retailers to help them align their promotions with California Avocado brand messaging that would pique the interest of their customers. From March into August, the Commission collaborated with chosen retail partners to raise awareness of the versatility and premium quality of California avocados using a variety of digital, social and in-store promotional assets.

At the start of the season, CAC sent California avocado-branded packages with relevant and engaging information to six key retail accounts to encourage Retail Dietitians and Cooking School Directors to share “why California avocado” messages with their customers and help drive retail purchases of the fruit. During a July month-long partnership with a network of Hy-Vee’s 30 corporate dietitians, the retail chain showcased a “Bump to Babe” promotion on store social media platforms. In addition, California avocados were chosen as the Hy-Vee Dietitian “Pick of the Month,” featured in store tours and classes, showcased on regional television segments and in the Des Moines Register.

Sharing the California avocado experience has proven successful in engaging and educating retail consumers about the California avocado industry and the fruit it produces. Because COVID-19 limited opportunities to host retail partners for in-person grove tours, the Commission created customized virtual immersive experiences for key retail accounts that were designed to highlight what makes California avocados so special. The Commission hosted a Season Opener Online Cooking Class and invited key contacts from Albertsons-Vons-Pavilions, Hy-Vee and Bristol Farms along with media and other influencers. The virtual event allowed direct interaction between a CAC chef partner and the influential retail personnel while sharing messaging about the fruit’s seasonal availability and its premium quality.

The Commission also partnered with PCC Community Markets to host mutually beneficial activities designed to help consumers “Get to Know Your California Avocados.” The Golden State fruit was featured at a members-only virtual event, in organic and paid social media posts, as a Weekly Specials headline and in the PCC enewsletter. The retailer also showcased California avocados with in-store displays, banners, recipe cards and custom pricing signs and rounded out promotions with a members-only California avocado offer.

In June, Mollie Stone’s Markets featured California avocados as its Monthly Pick and in its Meet the Farmer program. This multi-pronged promotion included a two-page spread featuring California avocado growers Dorcas McFarlane and Gordon Kimball on Mollie Stone’s website, as well as social posts on the retailer’s social platforms and California avocado-centric features in the chain’s ebooklet. Mollie Stone’s also provided five giveaways for its enewsletter subscribers that included a box of avocados and an item from the online California Avocado Merch Shop.

By supporting retailers who display and promote California avocados, the Commission was able to leverage the communication power of third-party advocates who share California Avocado brand messaging. Through these partnerships, consumers received recipes, usage and versatility ideas in the store and via digital channels including retailer websites, social media platforms and enewsletters, securing three million impressions to date.

Jessica Hunter, CAC Board Member, appeared in a video presented at a virtual members-only event for PCC Community Markets.

An article in the Des Moines Register by Hy-Vee Dietitian Jenn Blaser was featured as part of the Commission’s month-long partnership with the retailer.

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