Avocado growers and marketers and their retail partners continue to come up with innovative ways to move one of the most popular and fastest-growing items in the fresh produce department.

In 2023, shippers are looking forward to programs supporting both bulk California avocados and bagged avocados, conventional and organic fruit, said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the Irvine-based California Avocado Commission (CAC).

“Retailers tell us they continue to appreciate the customized marketing programs that CAC offers,” DeLyser said. “These include traditional in-store support and ads as well as digital and social programs.”

The most successful marketing happens, she added, when the California industry aligns with targeted retailers and their suppliers to build programs specifically for each customer to fit their needs.

In 2023, look for a return to form in the retail merchandising of avocados, said Joe Nava, vice president of sales and business development for West Pak Avocado.

“I believe retailers will gravitate toward the opportunity to do promotions that they have not been able to do in the past three to four years,” Nava said. “Some buyers may be a little hesitant because of the talk about the economy, but the avocado will stand strong with the right price for the everyday customer.”

West Pak expects promotable volumes of fruit from Mexico — with Jalisco joining Michoacan — and Peru in the coming year. 

In addition, the company is excited to welcome Colombian avocados into the market. Colombian fruit, Nava said, “is of premium quality, offers some great flavor profiles, and eats very well.”

Avocado shoppers spend on average two times more with avocados in their basket than without, said Stephanie Bazan, vice president of shopper and trade marketing for Avocados From Mexico (AFM). AFM’s retail programs, she said, are a great way to boost baskets and help drive conversion across the path to purchase.

Avocados From Mexico retail displaySource: Avocados From Mexico

“In 2023, we will continue to support our tentpole occasions such as the Big Game and Cinco de Mayo with national shopper marketing campaigns.”

The Super Bowl remains the number one occasion where avocados and guacamole are served and prepared, presenting a great opportunity for AFM to engage shoppers, Bazan said. 

On average, 250 million pounds of Mexican avocados are consumed during the four-week period leading up to the game.

For this past Super Bowl, AFM partnered with NFL legend Deion Sanders and his fiancée Tracey Edmonds for its national shopper marketing campaign, to reinforce the connection and ensure avocados remain at the center of the football action.

“Through our partnership, Deion and Tracey created their favorite guac recipes, and AFM is inviting shoppers to vote for their favorite in the ultimate Guac Showdown,” Bazan said. “Additionally, fans will get the chance to enter to win a grand price of $100k. All of this is being supported with in-store thematic displays, POS kit solutions, coupon savings offers, and digital media to drive awareness activation.”