Archive For The “News” Category

Avocados from Mexico are Returning to Super Bowl

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The NFL playoffs are only days away, but one thing’s for certain — Avocados From Mexico are returning to the Super Bowl.

The organization plans to air a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl LIV, which takes place Feb. 2 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla. The ad will be supported by a digital, earned media, retail and foodservice promotional campaign emphasizing Avocados From Mexico are “always worth it,” according to a news release.

The Big Game features the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.

“We have really found our sweet spot with Big Game viewers, and we look forward to delighting avocadoo fans nationwide with what will be a really fun spot,” Kevin Hamilton, head of brand marketing, PR & strategy at Avocados From Mexico, said in the release.

“Our fully integrated campaign builds on what we’ve done before, engaging existing avocado lovers, while highlighting for new consumers that Avocados From Mexico are Always Worth It,” he said in the release.

This will be the sixth year in a row that the group has run an ad during the Super Bowl, but this year, fans at the game can also find guacamole and tacos at AFM’s Tacos Por fAVOr concession stand, which opened in September at the stadium, according to the release.

The group’s ads have earned more than 27 billion impressions over the past five years, according to the release.

“Avocados From Mexico sources more than 80 percent of Americans’ avocado obsession — this is a story worth showcasing to 112 million viewers and an opportunity we couldn’t pass up this year,” Alvaro Luque, president of Avocados From Mexico, said in the release. 

“We look forward to being part of a big day in the marketing world and the country at large while reminding consumers that Avocados From Mexico are healthy, delicious and always in season,” he said in the release.

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The Big Idaho Potato Truck Wraps Up its 8th U.S. Tour

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By Idaho Potato Commision

Eagle, Idaho — After traveling 35,350 miles for eight months promoting America’s favorite vegetable, the Big Idaho® Potato Truck has officially completed its eighth season on the road. During its cross-country trek, the 4-ton spud participated in 54 scheduled events in 50 different cities and donated $12,500 to 25 local non-profits through its charitable program, A Big Helping.

“The Big Idaho® Potato Truck was only supposed to be on the road for one year to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary. Here we are eight years later and folks are scheduling the Truck two years out,” said Frank Muir, President & CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “By definition we have reached pop culture status — a product or brand that has mass accessibility and appeal. Last fall the popular television show American Idol invited us to participate in their auditions in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. It doesn’t get much bigger than that!” 

While it’s impossible to count all the people who experienced the Truck either at events or traveling on America’s highways and byways, the estimated reach was close to 2 million and is measured by social media engagement, event attendees and media impressions.

This year the Big Idaho® Potato Truck attended three events with more than 300K attendees:

  • Pegasus Week and Kentucky Derby (Louisville, KY)
  • NASCAR Bristol and Family Nights (Bristol, TN)
  • National Memorial Day Parade (Washington, D.C.)

Nine events with more than 100K attendees:

  • Mazda IndyCar (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • Mazda IndyCar (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Atlanta, GA)
  • First Ever 16th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Hot Springs, AR)
  • McDonald’s Houston Children’s Event (Houston, TX)
  • NASCAR Poconos (Poconos, PA)
  • Thunder Over Louisville (Louisville, KY)
  • America’s Birthday Parade and Celebration (St. Louis, MO)
  • Dublin Irish Festival (Dublin, OH) 

And several other highlight events including:

  • Ryan Seacrest Studios (Nashville, TN)
  • Bear World (Rexburg, ID)
  • West Virginia Strawberry Festival (Buckhannon, WV)
  • Winona Steamboat Days (Winona, MN)
  • 100th Anniversary Reno Rodeo (Reno, NV)  

In total, the 2019 Big Idaho® Potato Truck tour generated more than 200 million media impressions, and continues to reign as the IPC’s most successful marketing campaign, ever. Everywhere it goes, it promotes the nutritional value of Idaho’s famous potatoes and reminds folks to look for the “Grown in Idaho®” seal to be sure they are purchasing genuine Idaho® potatoes.  

After eight years on the road, the Truck continues to have a lasting impact on the communities it visits. In total, it has delivered some impressive numbers:

  • The average tour length is 6 months
  • The Truck has traveled approximately 248,000 miles
  • Attended events in 701 cities/towns 
  • Participated in 49 events with over 300,000 people in attendance
  • Participated in 85 events with over 100,000 people in attendance 
  • “A Big Helping” has donated $79,500 to 150 charities across the country
  • Millions have taken pictures of the Big Idaho® Potato Truck on their mobile devices 
  • The team receives appearance requests from fans, festivals and events all over the country on a daily basis
  • Total media coverage to date is in the billions! 

The 2020 Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour schedule will be released in early February 2020 at

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous “Grown in Idaho®” seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho® potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho® potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. These ideal growing conditions are what differentiate Idaho® potatoes from potatoes grown in other states. For more information, visit

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Inflation is Forecast to Stay Below Trend for Retail Food

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Retail food price increases are expected to remain low at supermarkets and food stores for 2020, according to the latest USDA’s Economic Research Service Food Price report. Inflation is expected to be in a range from 0.5 to 1.5 percent.

That, the agency said, would make 2019 the fourth straight year of deflating or lower-than-average food inflation at retail. Over the past 20 years, retail food inflation has averaged about 2 percent per year.

Commodities with lower prices this year, range from poultry, to eggs, fats and oils, and fresh fruits. On the other hand, fresh vegetables in 2019 are projected to increase at inflation rates greater than the 20-historical average.

For the year 2021, USDA economists predict low retail food inflation will continue.

“In 2020, food-at-home prices are expected to increase in a range between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent, as potentially the fifth year in a row with deflating  or lower-than-average inflating retail food prices,” the agency said.

Retail fresh fruit inflation is forecast at -1.5 to -0.5 percent in 2019 and 1 to 2 percent in 2020. Retail fresh vegetable prices are pegged to jump 3 to 4 percent in 2019, but change just zero to 1 percent in 2020.

Restaurant food prices have increased at a faster rate than supermarket food in recent years; the USDA projects food-away-from-home inflation at 2 to 3 percent for both 2019 and 2020.

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Salix Fruits Experiences 30% U.S. growth in 2019

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Distributor Salix Fruits ended 2019 with 30 percent growth over 2018, in part because of its imported Argentine lemon program in the U.S.

The global fruit distributor has partnerships with growers in South and Central America, Mexico, the U.S. and other countries. Domestic fruits include cherries, pears, apples, blueberries, plums and peaches.

The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Atlanta, with other offices in Chicago and Philadelphia. Other offices are in South Africa, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Russia and Argentina.

Growth was led by trade in the U.S., Latin America and Canada in the second half of the year, according to a news release.

Salix saw growth in its export of Washington apples and U.S. grapes.

“We export to the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia,” Juana Elortondo, sales manager for Salix Fruits, which also has offices in Chicago and Philadelphia. “This channel represents 25% of our business.”

In 2018, Salix fruit added CEO Alejandro Moralejo and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Calvo, which allowed the company to continue to strengthen its citrus program, according to the release.

“Salix was able to take advantage of new opportunities in the U.S. by nurturing its partnerships with Argentine lemon producers, such as Padilla Citrus,” according to the release. “By complementing the Argentine volume with imports from Mexico, Turkey and Spain, Salix provides lemons to the U.S. market throughout the year.”

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Westfalia Eyes Colombian Avocado Growth with Exports to U.S. in Mind

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Within a few years, the company Westfalia estimates it will be exporting 10,000 to 15,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit from its own orchards, plus an additional 15,000 metric tons from third-party growers.

The company’s growth coincides with growth in the overall Colombian avocado industry. Westfalia predicts total Colombian exports will increase by at least 30 percent a year, hitting 100,000MT within five years.


The Colombian avocado industry focuses mostly on exports to the European market, but Westfalia believes its operation will increase exports to the U.S. in time, not only because it’s the largest avocado market, but also because of its geographic proximity. Transit times from Columbia to the U.S. are under a week, and are 24 hours less than Mexico when exporting to the U.S. East Coast. The operation also is looking to export avocados to other South American countries and to Canada as Columbia seeks to become a reliable year-round avocado supplier, complementing volumes from Mexico.

Although Westfalia does not foresee Colombia replacing Mexico, it believes Colombia should be a good plan B for the U.S..

“The constant changes within the Mexican industry can be challenging for the trade, especially for retailers and consumers. So I think Colombia could provide more stable conditions with certain volumes for the future.

“I have no doubt in my mind that, in the next few years, the U.S. market will be the most important target market for Colombian avocados.” 

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Big Jump in U.S. avocado imports from Latin America

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U.S. imports had significant increases in Hass avocados from all Latin American origins through September this year, the USDA reports.

Total imports from the region rose by 20 percent over last year during a nine-month period.

The growth came amid the lowest California avocado shipments in a decade, which created a supply gap for overseas producers.

A lot of the increase was due to Mexico with its rising avocado volume.

But there were also substantial increases in percentage terms from Peru, Chile, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia.

U.S. imports from Peru – the next biggest origin – rose by 24 percent, which is more than triple the amount imported from Peru in 2016, and also comes amid a 15 percent reduction in total Peruvian exports this season.

Chilean exports to the U.S. rose by 61 percent in 2019 through September. This increase came despite the Chilean avocado indsutry also forecasting lower total supplies from a year ago for the 2019-20 season.

Meanwhile, the U.S. imported five-times more Hass avocados from the Dominican Republic.

And U.S. imports from Colombia rose eight-fold from in August 2017 under a restrictive export protocol. This was eased a little earlier last year and an significant increase in avocado shipments to the U.S. is seen over the next few years.

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Chilean Fruit Promotion Offers Chance to Win Super Bowl Tickets

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A promotional campaign for Chilean fruit called the “Super Fruit Bowl” is lining up with the National Football League’s Super Bowl.

To celebrate the Chilean summer fruit season, the campaign “invites consumers to discover the wide range of fresh fruits available from Chile during the winter months” and offers them a chance to win tickets to the NFL’s big game, according to a news release.

The release said the contest is running on and the ESPN app through Jan. 19, with Chilean fruit ads continuing into February.

“This campaign was such a natural fit for us,” Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association. “We’re in the heart of the biggest season for Chilean fruit, with blueberries, cherries, grapes and stone fruit now arriving to North America. With a “super fruit bowl” available to U.S. consumers, this is a great opportunity to attract consumer attention and build awareness for Chilean fruit.” 

The release said digital ads and videos appearing on and the ESPN app will direct consumers to a landing page where they can learn more about Chilean fruit and also enter to win two tickets and VIP passes to the Super Bowl, $1,000 in spending money and a one-night hotel stay. 

The program is part of a larger promotional campaign for Chilean Fresh Fruit that will be running through April, according to the release.

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U.S. Apple Exports to Mexico are Expected to Increase

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U.S. apple exports to Mexico could should increase this season even Mexico is expected to have a larger crop.

The USDA’ s fresh deciduous report for fresh deciduous fruit for Mexico said although Mexico’s apple production is up 24 percent the removal of the 20 percent tariff last May could boost U.S. exports there.

The tariff was in place for nearly a year, as a retaliatory measure against U.S. tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum. Mexican imports of U.S. apples dropped nearly 16 percent during this period in comparison to marketing year 2017-18, the USDA re;ported.

Mexican consumers remain price sensitive purchasers of fruit, according to the report.

With lower apple prices for marketing year 2019-20, the USDA said apple consumption in Mexico is expected to rebound, resulting in a slight decrease to pear consumption.

Mexican grape exports are forecast at high levels for the 2019-20 season.

The state of Sonora accounts for 85 percent of total table grape production in Mexico, and  and 77 percent of the total planted area. Sonora
has increased plantings over 20 percent in the last three years.

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Generations Farms in Vidalia Purchased by Global Ag Company

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Generations Farms LLC, a grower, shipper of onions in Vidalia, GA has been purchased by Optimum Agriculture. The buyout includes nearly 5,600 acres of land and packing/processing facilities.

The Vidalia, Ga., area operation is the former Stanley Farms, which began growing Vidalia onions in 1975, although R.T. Stanley began farming in 1964. It became Generation Farms in 2016 when it was purchased and merged with carrot company Coggins Farm, Lake Park.

Short term plans for the new owners is to ramp up production of onions and other items, according to a news release.

Optimum Agriculture, described as a global agricultural company focused on land acquisition and management, plans to continue to use the Generation Farms brand name on the onions, watermelon and other produce grown and marketed by the company.

Optimum ICD Holdings LLC is the new owner of the Generation Farms properties, trademark and land, which includes acreage in Tattnall and Toombs counties in Georgia. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed, according to the release.

The new owners plan to increase production at Generation Farms, naming onions, watermelons, sweet potatoes, green beans, cabbage and sweet corn in the release.

“This acquisition is part of a long-term plan to maximize operational efficiencies by diversifying weather and harvest risks across states,” Gaston Marquevich, CEO of Optimum Agriculture, said in the release. “Our short-term objective is to increase the utilization of the facilities by increasing production and to deliver a constant supply of food to retailers throughout the year.”

Optimum plans to continue all current operations at Generation Farms, along with supplying previous customers. Marquevich welcomed Generation Farms’ employees to the company in the release.

Optimum ICD Holdings has two other U.S. properties, the El Maximo Ranch in Osceola County, Fla., and the Alico Pond Island Grove, a 1,364-acre property with citrus in the same county. Optimum’s U.S. office is in Miami.

In June, Grimmway Farms purchased the Lake Park, Ga., and northern Florida operations of Generation Farms. Those properties were not involved in the Optimum Agriculture sale.

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