Supermarkets Seeing Big Sales Jumps for Chilean Avocados

Thanks to a season that runs from August through March, complementary to that of California avocados, American grocers are now using the Chilean Avocado Importers Association’s (CAIA) in-store promotional materials and comprehensive marketing program to boost Chilean Hass Avocados — and subsequently overall produce sales — significantly.

“Our Chilean Hass avocado promotion has been an absolute home run for us, as we garnered double-digit sales increases,” said Steve Williams, director of produce at Tampa, Fla.-based Sweetbay Supermarket. “The point-of-sale materials (POS) and consumer touch points were great, very creative. [O]ur produce managers, merchandisers and store managers … creatively and effectively promoted Chilean avocados through beautiful in-store displays.”

As part of its partnership with Sweetbay, Aptos, Calif.-based CAIA, which consists of Chilean avocado importers, exporters and producers, offered an avocado display contest, in which 90 percent of the Delhaize banner’s 104 stores participated with creative and elaborate displays. Produce manager Mark Every won the grand prize: cash and a special dinner with Food Network star Ingrid Hoffmann and top Sweetbay executives in Tampa.

As well as Sweetbay, other corporate and family-owned retailers across the country have rolled out CAIA-produced POS materials in their produce departments, many taking advantage of the organization’s consumer-focused campaigns with retail in-store signage components that enable retailers to choose ones based on their particular shopper demographics.

“The importance of CAIA’s relationship with retailers is twofold,” explained CAIA director of marketing Maggie Bezart. “Not only is it a very important cornerstone to CAIA’s success in marketing efforts to effectively increase U.S.-based consumer demand and consumption of Hass avocados from Chile, but it is also key for our retail partners to use our specially developed materials to generate increased sales of Chilean Hass avocados in their stores.”

CAIA’s “Grab Some for the Game” promotion targets sports fans and their families, while the “Chilean Avocado Lovers Club” campaign appeals to adults over 18 with a contest offering 60 grand prizes of $250 in free groceries.

“Grab Some for the Game” captures the attention of sports fans preparing for game-day festivities with signage and an avocado display bin featuring a football or soccer ball inside an image of an avocado half. Retailers can submit photos of their displays with CAIA POS to enter for a chance to win a first, second, or third place prize in each of CAIA’s four U.S. merchandising regions. The association will additionally recommend winners for entry in the United Fresh Produce Association’s Produce Manager of the Year Award.

“Chilean Avocado Lovers Club” POS materials feature an avocado-green logo and the chance for customers to enter the So Good, So Many Ways random drawing. The promotion’s in-store display bins offer ripening bags for home use, along with information about entering the contest, its prizes, and a sweepstakes entry pad for easy submission. Over 5,000 entries have been submitted to date for the contest, which will continue through February 2010. Randomly selected winners will be notified no later than March 15, 2010. As well as the 60 winners of a $250 supermarket gift card grand prize, 200 further entrants will each receive an official Chilean Avocado Importers Association/American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Soccer Ball runner-up prize. To enter, consumers can visit the Chilean Avocado Lovers Club Web site,, or send an entry form by direct mail.

For additional information about CAIA’s current retail in-store promotional materials, retailers can visit or contact one of the regional merchandising team members listed on CAIA’s Web site at
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