At the conclusion of each season, professional sports leagues select a most valuable player, recognizing an individual whose talent and dedication rose above all others.
So it is only fitting that Avocados from Peru is a prime candidate for this summer’s “MVP,” or “Most Valuable Palta” (“avocado” in the vernacular of Peru and other South American nations).
After all, each summer Peru fills a vital role in providing a supply of the world’s most beloved superfood while other origins are between peak production periods.
Unlike most other commodity boards, the Peruvian Avocado Commission’s (PAC) promotions are designed to not only benefit their own product but also to support the avocado category.
Even more fitting for the MVP conversation is that PAC’s promotions this summer involve the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball.
Xavier Equihua, president and CEO of the PAC, said that no other organization involved with produce is doing anything similar on a national scale.
“We’re using the team as a platform for promoting avocados inside and outside of our retail partners’ stores,” he said, “but we go way beyond that with the connections that the team has with their own fan base. Instead of using MLB players, we use the actual team as our partners and influencers.”
With the Atlanta Braves promotion, Avocados from Peru is working with supermarket powerhouse Kroger.
Aside from classic retail promotions such as Avocados from Peru’s signature e-coupons, special events will be held at each of the retail locations with the team’s players and mascot dressed in the club’s regalia greeting shoppers while promoting avocados from Peru.
Equihua noted that the team was chosen because Kroger is already the official supermarket of the Atlanta Braves and because the market is among the lesser geographic consumption areas for avocados.
“The most important goal of this partnership, and all of our promotions, is to educate people about avocados and help our retail partners sell more fruit,” Equihua said. “We see great potential for growth in the Southeast where the team is located and where avocado consumption is lower than in the Northeast or the West Coast.”
MLB All Star Game & FIFA Woman’s World Cup
Equihua said that Avocados from Peru will be the local media sponsor of the MLB All Star Game and FIFA’s Women’s World Cup as well.
Aside from sports collaborations, Equihua said that the AVO Tesla Sweepstakes will return to Lidl this summer due to the success of last year’s campaign.
“The AVO Tesla Sweepstakes helped Lidl highlight avocados in a major way, which helped them sell more fruit last year,” he said.
The AVO Tesla Sweepstakes’ theme “Eat Healthy, Live Green,” gives consumers an opportunity to win a Tesla 3 bedecked with both Avocados from Peru’s and Lidl’s signage and colors.
The sweepstakes also aligns Avocados from Peru with Tesla, an environmentally friendly brand, to demonstrate AFP’s commitment to health and the environment.
“Avocados from Peru provide health benefits to the body, just as electric vehicles have lower carbon emissions and are therefore healthier for the environment,” Equihua noted. “We loved working with our friends at Lidl last summer and look forward to renewing the AVO Tesla Sweepstakes this year.”
Another program that pairs Avocados From Peru with a retailer will occur in July to celebrate National Avocado Day. AFP will partner with Grocery Outlet to hold its traditional Guacamole Challenge at the San Diego Food Bank, where members of the media will compete to make the perfect guacamole and win the coveted Silver Avocado award.
“It’s a perfect program because guacamole is everyone’s favorite, and we’ll be supporting Grocery Outlet’s Independence from Hunger campaign,” said Equihua. “So, by donating avocados for the challenge and the San Diego Food Bank we’ll be lifting the category while also helping those in need.”
Under the Independence from Hunger program, which is in its 13th year, people that donate $5 or more receive a $5 coupon to use in a future shopping trip. The donation benefits local food banks. Last year, more than $2.5 million was raised to combat food insecurity.
Equihua said that AFP’s summer 2023 initiatives are part of an overall strategy to promote Peru as well as the entire avocado category, as U.S. consumption is expected to reach 3 billion pounds of fruit this year.
This is a tremendous milestone, especially since the avocado category has been static in recent years. Equihua estimated that the 4 billion-pound mark can be reached within the next seven years.
To achieve such a lofty goal, all the players must work collectively for the good of the avocado category, which he said continues to stand out as a shining example of collaboration in the produce industry.
“We’re spending over $100 million in promotions collectively and no other produce category comes close to that,” he said, noting the many innovative marketing tactics are being taken to help retailers sell more fruit. “These go above and beyond merely providing bins and point-of-sale materials.”