The U.S. Avocado Craze

Over the past year, have you noticed that avocados have been everywhere? It seems that at every restaurant I go to, especially the fast food chains, I’m bombarded by a new menu item featuring avocados. On TV, there have been numerous commercials, especially related to sports, promoting the green fruit (yes avocados are fruits).

The first avocado commercial I noticed was last year I think. It was the one where some football fans were getting ready to watch the game, but everyone was super disappointed when they realized they had forgotten the guacamole. The point of the commercial was to NEVER forget the guac on game day. Then I noticed a couple other commercials with the same theme, and then came the Subway “AHHHvocado!” campaign. For a limited time they featured fresh avocados on some of their sandwiches, an incredibly successful campaign. Food companies are starting to make lots of different avocado-related items, like Tostitos new “Dip Creations,” a seasoning mix added to smashed avos to make guac.

Last year, the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA) teamed up with NBC’s The Biggest Loser to promote the health benefits of avocados on the show. This kicked off the MHAIA’s campaign to overhaul the avocado’s image and promote it as a healthy food, containing excellent unsaturated fats that are actually good for you.

The MHAIA was not the only one trying to rebrand avocados and boost sales. The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) began “The Big Hit” campaign for baseball season in 2009, promoting avocado as the perfect food for baseball fans. It could be made into guacamole, or sliced up and put on burgers, hot dogs, tacos and salads. The Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) and the California Avocado Commission (CAC) have done the same thing.

This year, they are ALL working together on a groundbreaking campaign to sell a record number of avocados. According to The Packer, the MHAIA, HAB, CAIA, and CAC have teamed up for the “Kick Off with Hass Avocados” national campaign that will run 30-second Hass avocado television commercials throughout the college football season. Spots will run on FOX, FX, FOX Sports and on the radio. The rest of the campaign will include outdoor and online banner ads, trade commissions, print ads, point-of-sale support, coupon programs and social media contests that will result in an estimated 33 million consumer impressions.

So now you know who’s behind this whole avocado craze. And it seems to be working. According to the HAB, US avocado sales have increased by 16% in the last year to 1.3 billion pounds. 75 new products containing avocados have been introduced in the past year, including restaurant menu items, grocery store products and everything else in between. Americans can’t seem to get enough avocados, and that’s perfectly fine with the avocado commissions, avocado farmers, retailers, marketers… and pretty much everyone, except maybe, the salsa industry?

Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

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