By The Hass Avocado Board
MISSION VIEJO, CA – Avocados are appearing more often on menus when family and friends gather for holiday celebrations. The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) recently released a study that shows the growing popularity of avocados as measured by retail sales trends during thirteen key holidays and events. Overall in 2016, shoppers purchased +10% more avocados than in the prior year, with nearly 1.9 billion avocados sold at retailers across the country. Holidays have historically been a large contributor to annual sales, and 2016 was no exception. The thirteen holiday and event weeks tracked in the study contributed 502 million avocados (27%) to annual volume, up +11% vs prior year.
Consumers are showing increasing interest in serving avocado dishes during the holidays, and retailers are reaping the benefits. Retail sales grew for twelve of thirteen holiday weeks in 2016. The Big Game continues to be a popular avocado eating occasion, turning in the top holiday volume week at +54MM units (+16% vs 2015). The Big Game was also the second highest holiday dollar week, behind Independence Day, which ranked number one in holiday dollar sales, at $44.9MM. Valentine’s Day is growing in popularity with avocado shoppers, surpassing 2015 volume by +29%.
“This study showcases the importance of these holidays and events to the avocado category,” says Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. “It is our goal to provide the industry with actionable insights into the avocado category, and the Holiday and Events study is a valuable source for seasonal sales information.”
In addition to the national trends, the report also details holiday and event performance for eight geographic regions. Nearly all holidays and events performed well in each region. The Big Game was the star volume sales event in all regions, except the Northeast, where Cinco de Mayo ranked first in holiday volume.
To read about holidays and events in each region and to get more in-depth information about avocado sales for each holiday, visit hassavocadoboard.com/retail. Sign up here for the Hass Avocado Board’s Hass Insights Newsletters to receive updates on current retail avocado trends delivered straight to your inbox.
About The Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. The Hass Avocado Board is committed to increasing awareness and providing industry leaders with fresh insights into this vibrant category. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the U.S. from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
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Fresh avocados are one of the most successful categories in fresh produce. Nearly 60 percent of U.S. households purchase avocados each year and spend $23.91 on average, driving annual household purchases of over $1.6 billion, according to The Hass Avocado Board’s newly released Shopper Segmentation Study. The study was based on data from The IRI Consumer Network, analyzes the households that are buying avocados and reveals the underlying purchase behaviors that are driving this category.
The segments for the study was conducted by ranking avocado purchasing households by each household’s total annual avocado spend (high to low), and then dividing this ranked list into four equal segments. The top-spending quartile (25 percent) is designated super heavy households, while the remaining three segments are referred to as heavy, medium and light households. Discerning the differences in purchasing behaviors between these households is one of the keys to unlocking the potential of the avocado category.
This segmentation found that a very large proportion of avocado purchases are made by one shopper segment, the Super Heavy segment. While comprising only one out of every four households, super heavy shoppers account for nearly three out of every four avocado purchases. Additionally, super heavy households purchase avocados twice as often as heavy households, and spend twice as much per avocado shopping occasion. This means that the super heavy segment is a particularly influential and important part of the avocado category.
The remaining three segments each account for a smaller share of avocado dollars than their respective share of households would suggest. As the second-highest spending quartile (25 percent), heavy households account for 18 percent of avocado purchases. Combined, super heavy and heavy households account for 91 percent of all avocado purchases at retail. Based on their high level of engagement in the category, super heavy and heavy households are more apt to respond positively to marketing efforts to increase their purchases even further.
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Avocados From Mexico and Old El Paso have teamed up for a third time to make the Big Game one for the guacamole consumption record books with Guac Nation. Running Dec. 26 to Feb. 5, 2017 (ending the day of the Super Bowl) , the program will offer a full spectrum of support while leveraging the excitement of Super Bowl festivities and get-togethers to highlight delicious snacks and party food featuring fresh Avocados From Mexico and Old El Paso.
The campaign will be bolstered with consumer incentives and retailer support, such as recipe inspiration through social media, in-store radio, merchandising focused on molcajete-shaped display bins, and the Guac Center Pallet bin. The Guac Center Pallet bin is unique in that it has separate side pockets allowing retailers to merchandise everything a shopper would need to build their own guacamole, like tomatoes, onions, jalapeños or limes. Approximately 73 percent of people, hosts and guests alike, make grocery store trips specifically for the Big Game, and these inspirational posts and display bins make game-day shopping that much easier.
“The Big Game is the perfect broad-reaching platform to promote avocado consumption surrounding the traditions of in-home entertaining for people of all backgrounds,” Stephanie Bazan, market development director of AFM, said in a press release. “Hosts of Big Game parties want to create simple crowd-pleasing dishes and with the Big Game ranking as one of the top occasions where avocados — especially guacamole — are served, the Guac Nation program will reinforce the relationship between guacamole and football.”
Guac Nation is an example of how the continued collaboration between Avocados From Mexico and Old El Paso is using a total market approach at the shopper level. Designed with how today’s shopper consumes media in mind, the Guac Nation program includes four strong digital components to reach shoppers along the entire path to purchase: Catalina Buyer Vision, Ibotta, Pinterest and Facebook.
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by Hass Avocado Board
MISSION VIEJO, California – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new guidance for the use of the nutrient content claim “healthy” on food labeling, and fresh avocados meet the criteria. Long touted for the range of health and wellness benefits associated with them, avocados can finally bear the claim that sums it all up: avocados are healthy.
While 90% of consumers report that they purchase avocados based on the nutritional benefits they provide, 21% still say that the fat content in avocados is a barrier to purchase, despite the fact that the latest science demonstrates that the type of fat, rather than the total amount, is more important to good health.
The term “healthy” on food labels is regulated by the FDA and reserved for foods low in fat among other restrictions. The past definition, which was established more than 20 years ago, focused on total fat content per serving. The new proposed guidance from FDA gives consideration to the breakdown between good (unsaturated) and bad (saturated) fats in light of new evidence and dietary recommendations in the recently published 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). Avocados contain 8 g of fat per 50 g serving, over 75% of which are naturally good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Avocados comply with the new FDA guidance because they have a fat profile of predominantly naturally good monounsaturated fats.
“With the pervasiveness of many chronic diseases in the US population, consumers are thinking about the ways to make healthy food choices for themselves and their families” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board (HAB). “We applaud the FDA for its efforts in updating the guidance on what makes a food healthy, and recognizing that good fats play an important role in healthy diets.”
For industry, this means fresh avocados can start to use the term “healthy” in marketing and communications as well as packaging and point-of-sale materials. HAB is updating its messages and materials to include the claim.
Avocados are a healthy fruit that provide a good source of fiber and folate per 50 g serving (one-third of a medium avocado), and nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that can enhance the nutrient quality of the diet. A healthy fruit, avocados are virtually the only fruit that contain monounsaturated fat, and they are sodium, cholesterol and trans-fat free. To learn more about the naturally good fats in avocados, the latest avocado nutrition research and fresh avocado recipes, visit LoveOneToday.com/goodfats.
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The US population continues to consume more and more avocados. Consumption is driven by increased media attention as well as in-store promotions. “This year, a record-shipment of 139 million lbs. is expected to come in from Mexico to be consumed in the run up to and on the day of the Big Game,” said Maggie Bezart Hall with Avocados from Mexico. “This would be a 13 percent increase compared to last year,” she added.
139 million lbs. of avocados equals 278 million individual avocados. This is just for Super Bowl Sunday and the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. “US avocado consumption during the Big Game is enough to fill a football field end zone to end zone more than 53 ft. deep,” shared Bezart Hall. On Super Bowl Sunday, look for the avocado commercial during the first commercial break segment.
The majority of avocados being consumed in the US end up in guacamole. Eating avocados on a sandwich is second most popular, followed by salads and avocados consumed by themselves.
Meanwhile, it’s the Denver Broncos vs. the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50!
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Here are nine facts you probably did not know about avocados.
(1)**You can judge when an avocado is ready to eat by squeezing it. Color alone does not indicate if an avocado is ripe. Hold the fruit in your palm and then gently squeeze, being careful not to bruise the fruit. It should be firm, but give to gentle pressure.
(2)**Avocados used to be served only to royalty and were a symbol of wealth. Now, you can enjoy them anytime!
(3)**The most popular avocado is the Hass variety, named after mailman Rudolph Hass from La Habra Heights, Calif. He patented his tree in 1935.
(4)**Avocados can be used as an ingredient in desserts. In Brazil, avocados are a popuklar ingredieint for ice creams and in the Philippines they pur’ee avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink.
(5)**To ripen, they have to be plucked from trees. To help ripen an avocado, place it in a brown bag and keep in a cool spot for two to three days.
(6)**During the Super Bowl, there are more than 8 million pounds of avocados eaten across America. And during Cinco de Mayo, there are about 14 million pounds eaten.
(7)**Avocados don’t self-pollinate; they need another avocado tree close by to produce fruit. The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility and they only grow in pairs.
(8)**Avocados were used as a spread instead of butter when European sailors traveled to the New World. Learning from the past, avocados are a healthy alternative to butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese.
(9)**Another name for the Hass avocado is the Alligator Pear because of its bumpy, green skin and pear shape.
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600 consumers preferred nutrition and sensory over other themes when participating in a Hass Avocado Board marketing study, Engaging and Influencing Shoppers at Shelf.
20 messages were among other themes in the study, which was intended for use on retail display shelves, signs and point-of-sale materials, and were a call to action and usage or occasion.
“Our goal was to ascertain message themes that resonate most with consumers, and in particular, understand which messaging within each theme motivates purchases of hass avocados,” Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Irvine, Calif.-based board, said in a news release.
Under the sensory theme, “Naturally Delicious” was the most popular tagline and most likely to motivate purchase. The consumers, all primary shoppers, were drawn by the promise of taste and the sense of “real” food that “may be good for you,” the study cited.
Among the nutrition messages, “Naturally Good Fats” was the top choice, deemed simple, important and believable. Also popular were “Cholesterol Free” and “Good Fat in Avocados Can Replace Saturated Fat.”
It found ratings varied by consumption level, with “super heavy” and heavy users — who buy 120-plus or 37-plus avocados per year, respectively — responding more positively overall to shelf messaging. The study also included medium buyers, who purchase 12 to 36 avocados annually.
Each tagline was tested with identical graphics.
As a second objective, the study measured reactions to everyday category signs. Messages tested were “Fresh Avocados,” “Hass Avocados,” and “Ripe Avocados.” Of those, the former was the most likely to drive purchases.
“The information in this study is intended to help retailers enhance their messaging to appeal to their core market,” Escobedo said in the release. “In-store presentation and messaging are important factors influencing the shopper’s decision to purchase hass avocados.”
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Following early shipments the past couple of years, Arkansas tomato loadings are expected to be more normal time-wise with light volume starting around June 10. Primary production is centered in south-central Arkansas around small towns such as Hermitage. Shipments should continue until about July 20th.
We’ll soon be entering the time of year when the bottom will drop out on Florida produce shipments as overall volume plummets. An exception is with Florida avocados.
South Florida had 7,500 acres in the 2012-13 season, shipping 1.16 million bushels. This was higher than the 819,594 bushel average growers shipped on an annual basis between 2006 and 2010.
Very light avocado shipments have started, but good volume will not hit until about July 1st. Peak shipments should take place in July through September.
It is the tail end of the Florida shipping season for citrus, but there may be a little more product for hauling than originally predicted. The updated estimate shows an increase in grapefruit and a small decline in tangerines, with orange volume remaining the same.
The grapefruit forecast has been increased by 1.3 million equivalent cartons in May from its April estimate.
Colored grapefruit production increased 500,000 cartons while white grapefruit jumped 800,000 cartons, according to the USDA. About 95% of the state’s grapefruit has been shipped. The tangerines forecast has been dropped by 100,000 boxes to 3.4 million boxes. About 97% of the state’s honey tangerines has been shipped.
As for oranges, volume remains at 138 million cartons, with the late season valencias volume staying at 71 million cartons. The majority of the Florida’s oranges are processed. As for the fresh market, about 70% of navels, half of the grapefruit and two-thirds of the tangerines are for fresh.
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While studies have shown transporting strawberries and some other produce items in a modified atmosphere extends the quality and lifespan of the items, how safe are these food items to eat that have been exposed to carbon dioxide (CO2) for nearly a week?
Rich Macleod, a scientist and basically the manager of the pallet divison for Transfresh Corp. feels this is a reasonable question for people to ask.
“The use of carbon dioxide in the handling of perishables is incredibally common,” Macleod states. He points to the use of CO2 in soda, which are the bubbles you see.
As for TransFresh, Macleod says the Organic Material Research Institute has certified the Tectrol application as organic. “So we are certified for use as an organic product,” he states. “The impact of CO2 in terms of maintaining the quality of the product….using a gas we breath in the environment, is an excellent trade off for what you get for enjoying more strawberries.”
As previously reported in this series, using the pallet covered system, Tectrol (CO2), results in less decay in strawberries (see chart).
Macleod, who started out as a lab assistant with a masters degree in post harvest science, sees the next step in research being to define what CO2 does for the nutrient value of strawberries. Such a study has never been done, he notes. He is hopeful such research will take place within the next five years.
While Tectrol’s primary use is with strawberries, it also is used with raspberries, blueberries and other items.
However, it also is found in containers on shipments by boat with items such as avocados, asparagus, and stone fruit for both imports and exports that are in transit eight to 10 days.
“Your cut salads are all cousins to the wrapped pallet program (with modified atmospheres). In fact, the cut salad program preceeded the pallet covered program,” Macleod says.
(This is Part 5 0f 6, featuring an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA. He has been with company since 1976, and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
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It’s time for college bowl games! Football fans across the nation will head to their favorite grocery stores to purchase tailgating and party supplies, such as hot dogs, chips, avocados and Concord Foods Guacamole Mixes. Guacamole is one of the most popular food items for tailgating. Stores should prepare for the football bowl games and playoffs, by creating prominent displays of avocados, tomatoes and popular tie-in items, such as Concord Foods Guacamole Mixes.
“Concord Foods Guacamole Mix is great for football parties and tailgating because it is quick and simple to prepare and tastes delicious. Just add two avocados to Concord Foods’ blend of spices for guacamole dip that is ready in minutes.” said Charles Olins, VP Sales and Marketing at Concord Foods. Concord Foods Guacamole Mix is available in grocery store produce departments nationwide and comes in five great flavors: Mild, Extra Spicy, Classic Mild, Classic Extra Spicy and Authentic. In the spirit of football season, Concord Foods has an attractive football-themed shipper display available and some great tailgating recipes available online.
“We’ve developed some amazing tailgating recipes that use guacamole mix, such as Fully Loaded Nachos or the Great Guacamole Burger.” Said Samantha McCaul, Marketing Manager at Concord Foods. “These recipes are easy-to-prepare and great for tailgating. They are available on our website and Facebook page.”
Concord Foods Guacamole Mixes are available in 18 packs and 144 pack floor shippers. Distribution channels include retail grocery stores, mass merchandisers and club stores in the U.S.
ABOUT CONCORD FOODS
Concord Foods Incorporated is a leading supplier of retail food products and custom ingredients to nationally recognized supermarkets, food service operators and leading food manufacturers. Concord Foods retail division offers a wide variety of produce friendly items from Candy Apple Kits to produce seasoning mixes. Consumers count on our quality products to glaze pies, create guacamole and batter onion rings. For more information, please visit www.concordfoods.com.
Source: Concord Foods Incorporated
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