When the California Avocado Commission was established in 1978, the only avocados available to American consumers were those grown upon American soil. Besides perennial weather, pest and water concerns, the biggest hurdles on the horizon were distribution and exploring the lucrative foodservice market. And print advertising was king.
In 2018, California avocado growers still wrestle with the same perennial production concerns, but face new challenges as they compete in a global avocado market. Today, partnerships with targeted retailers and foodservice chains are a mainstay of our portfolio. And campaigns have expanded beyond the printed page — reaching consumers whenever and wherever they are via a variety of digital platforms.
We’ve come a long way.
How It All Began
In late 1977, the Governor signed into law the establishment of the California Avocado Commission. In quick succession, a referendum was conducted where majority of California avocado growers voted to approve the establishment of the Commission in the summer of 1978 and then elected 15 members to its board of directors — granting them permission to oversee advertising, promotion and market research on behalf of growers.
By establishing the Commission, California avocado growers gained the autonomy and freedom to operate their promotional programs without having to seek permission on advertising matters from the State. The move also provided a new marketing path: cross-promotional advertising that tied in with partners’ products. As CAC Chairman Crawford Teague noted after the Commission’s first successful year, "…the future looks bright indeed. The commission has given our industry the vehicle it needs to advertise and promote our crops properly."
Since then, the Commission has evolved — expanding beyond a singular promotional mission to one that includes water, labor and legislative advocacy and production research to ensure that California avocado growers have a vast support network to help them produce — and promote — the highest quality fruit in a sustainable manner.
Join us as we explore the Commission’s milestones from the past 40 years — tracing the rise of the Commission as a leader in the produce industry and California avocados as a premium product.