shoppers. A USDA regulation requires that for
every pound of imported avocados from Mexico
sold in the U.S., 2.5-cents must be allocated to marketing and promotional efforts, as well as research.
Right now, products from Mexico are responsible for about 81 percent of all avocados sales
in the U.S., far ahead of California, which is second with about 13 percent of total sales. Most of the
remainder of the product is imported from South
America. Luque is confident that he can gain
even more market share in the category by promoting the quality of the Mexican product and giving consumers more reasons to use avocados in
Interestingly, he is focusing on the current users of avocados for immediate growth.
Luque says that industry statistics show that
household penetration of avocados lie around
50 percent of U.S. homes. Instead of targeting the
half of the population that does not consume avo-
cados, he is focusing on the half that does, confident
that his promotional activities will get them to increase
consumption. “Our strategy is to focus on the consumers who like
avocados and show them more ways and times to
use them,” he says. “Half of the consumers who
currently purchase avocados are light or medium
users of the product. They know the fruit already
so we don’t have to educate them there. We just
have to get them to consume more.
“Once we build our sales with this group, we will
start to concentrate on the shoppers in the other half
of the population who aren’t avocados consumers.
That is another great opportunity for us.”
It may not be that hard to pull off. As Luque notes,
avocados are considered a trendy, cool fruit by many
consumers in the know, especially the healthy per-
centage of Millennials who are looking for products
with the most nutritional benefits, while being ver-
satile enough to use in many dishes and is still tasty.
“That’s pretty hard to satisfy, but avocados manage
to meet all those expectations and specifications,”
With the power of its members behind it—Luque
emphasizes that 75 percent of the Mexican growers have five
acres or less of land and 90 percent have less than 10 acres—
Avocados From Mexico has the money to push the category. The
association spends about $18 million annually on its media campaign,
which includes television, print and digital. Its ad during the Super
Bowl has become a staple of the game and some say the talk around
the water cooler the next day. Luque plans to continue that program.
In fact, promotions are the biggest part of the association’s push.
Luque is quite proud of the fact that Avocados From Mexico offers
retailers nine promotional programs annually, including a back-to-school program and a Summer Celebration, which runs from May
to July. The association also, often in conjunction with other companies that offer related products, offers such promotions as the Tastiest
Tailgate with Rotel in October, Season’s Eating around the fourth
quarter holiday season, Fanwich in February and March, and Fiesta
del Fuego for Cinco De Mayo in April and May.
Its biggest promotion is Guac Nation, with Old El Paso, that runs
from late December through Super Bowl Sunday and promotes avoca-
dos for Super Bowl parties and features specially designed bins, cou-
pons and other incentives. “We want to accelerate the growth of the
category,” Luque says. “We want to make a big splash at the right times
of the year. This is a high margin area and we want to create even more
demand to help our retail partners.”
The association is set to launch a breakfast promotion in late winter
that will join with other companies that offer such related products