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As major autumn and winter professional sports events beckon, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) has rolled out a game day entertaining marketing campaign encouraging consumers to further incorporate Hass avocados into their game day entertaining. The goal of the initiative is to boost avocado sales in the fall, when there’s a large supply of Hass avocados from various countries.
“HAB’s targeted promotional efforts surrounding game day entertaining during the fall time frame over the past few years have encouraged demand for Hass avocados amongconsumers at the retail level,” noted Jose Luis Obregon, managing director of Irvine, Calif.-based HAB. “This year’s promotion is designed to extend the strong avocado category performance from last quarter, when retail avocado category dollar sales increased by nearly 11 percent vs. the same time frame the prior year, which is significant considering that the total fruit and vegetable category declined by almost 1 percent.”
To assist in this effort, HAB has recruited celebrity chef Curtis Stone and former Major League Baseball All-Star Ryne Sandberg as spokesmen.
The culinary advisor for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” host of TLC’s “Take Home Chef” and author of several cookbooks, Stone has collaborated with HAB on four game-day avocado recipes that are being distributed to consumer media across the United States, and he recently promoted Hass avocados as an integral part of game day menus in media interviews with 15 television outlets in top-tier markets across the country during a satellite media tour. Additionally, he will star in HAB-produced downloadable videos that will be available on avocadocentral.com and distributed virally to consumers. The videos will feature tips for consumers on preparing avocados and demonstrate two of the exclusive recipes developed with HAB.
Former Major League Baseball All-Star Ryne Sandberg has also plugged Hass avocados as a must-have ingredient for game day meals in interviews with 19 national and regional sports radio outlets during a radio media tour leading up to the professional baseball playoffs.
The online component of the campaign includes a game day entertaining micro site at avocadocentral.com. A resource for consumers planning game day parties, the sire offers Hass avocado recipe ideas and a game day entertaining-themed sweepstakes, in which visitors could win an LCD HD television and home theater system, enabling them watch the game in style.
Additionally, HAB is conducting outreach to key foodservice media through a special mailing including Stone’s recently published cookbook, an avocado foodservice recipe he created and his tips for luring customers to foodservice locations during sporting events. Point-of-service materials and information on foodservice game day promotions can also be found on the HAB foodservice site at avocadocentral.com/foodservice.
The board’s merchandising team is also providing retailers with game day entertaining-themed point-of-purchase materials, which are available to order at avoHQ.com/POS_Order_Form.
The overall program supports “The Big Hit,” a joint multi-discipline marketing campaign by HAB, the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association and Chilean Avocado Importers Association that promotes Hass avocado consumption during the professional baseball playoffs. The Big Hit marks the first such collaboration among these avocado marketing associations, all of which are part of HAB.
Over 20,000 producers and 100 importers belong to HAB, which covers fresh domestic and imported Hass avocados sold in the U.S. market.