Memorial Day weekend is one of the strongest periods of the year for avocado consumption, ranking among the top four seasonal sales events, and the California Avocado Commission has a full set of merchandising initiatives on tap for retailers this year.

“Memorial Day is a time to honor those who lost their lives serving our country and it is a time of American pride. For many produce departments, it is also the unofficial kick-off of summer merchandising,” says Jan DeLyser, CAC’s vice president of marketing.

CAC’s custom marketing programs with participating retailers, which are mainly in California and the West this year, include sales and display contests, social and digital programs, in-store activations and online sweepstakes. Many of the activities begin with Memorial Day and continue into June. The commission offers retailers multiple patriotic-themed recipe booklets to accompany in-store programs.

Leading up to Memorial Day, CAC is sharing grilling and seasonal recipe content with its fans via blogger influencers, social and blog posts. Featured artisan chef recipes include a Charred California Avocado with Pistachio Gremolata and Crispy Pork Cutlets with California Avocado and Arugula Salad. CAC’s in-season messaging about using California Avocados in summer entertaining also kicks off with the holiday weekend.

“California avocados make a perfect addition to retailers’ Memorial Day weekend displays,” says DeLyser.