The California Avocado Commission is starting to ramp up promotions for its 2019 crop, which is expected to be just half the size of last year’s crop.

The Irvine, California-based commission is building anticipation for the 2019 season by teasing targeted consumers with social media communications and working with retailers and foodservice operators to set up timely crop transitions and customized promotions. Some smaller California retailers have already transitioned to California avocados, with early harvest inventory building in January to support the Super Bowl.

The current estimate for the California avocado crop for the fiscal year (November 2018-October 2019) is 175 million pounds, which is about half the volume of 2017-18.

Distribution will be targeted mainly to California and the West. With targeted distribution, the harvest season is expected to build into March with peak volume availability from April through July. Some volume may continue later, particularly from California’s northernmost avocado growing regions.

“The Commission is excited for the California avocado season start and the focused marketing support that is about to begin,” says Jan DeLyser, the commission’s vice president of marketing. “We’re building anticipation, letting targeted consumers know that the season is almost here via social media, The Scoop blog and communication by California avocado brand advocates.”

The commission is also continuing its Made of California marketing campaign this year. Customized marketing programs with participating retailers and foodservice operators is also a major component of the California avocado support plan.