Avocado shippers say they provide plenty of promotional backup for the annual promotional push by the Chilean Avocado Importers Association.

Many say they generally provide their own complementary marketing plans with individual customers.

“We participate and work with them so that when they put together a merchandising event with customers that we supply, we make sure we’re supporting that,” said Dana Thomas, president of Riverside, Calif.-based Index Fresh Inc.

It’s standard procedure, he said.

“That’s what Index would do with any country of origin’s marketing. We like to make sure we’re in tune with what they’re doing, so we’re not at cross-purposes,” Thomas said.

Coordinating with group

McDaniel Fruit Co., Fallbrook, Calif., is “very in tune” with association promotions, since owner Rankin McDaniel is on the association’s board of directors, McDaniel said.

Until recently, McDaniel was a vice president with the association’s marking arm.

“We know what the programs are that the CAIA has developed, and we work very closely with CAIA in identifying those areas of the country where CAIA is going to be investing in terms of their promotional programs,” McDaniel said.

The company will follow the association’s presentations and offer its product in conjunction with those plans, as well as some programs that are tailored to the shipper’s retail and foodservice accounts, McDaniel said.

“We are very coordinated in our efforts,” he said.

Escondido, Calif.-based avocado grower-shipper Henry Avocado Corp. plans its Chilean deal along similar lines, said Chris Varvel, sales manager.

“We try to be informed of what the CAIA is doing so we can be a conduit for our customers to make sure they get involved in programs that make sense for them,” Varvel said.

Henry tries to connect marketers in the Chilean deal — as it does with representatives from other countries of origin — with a customer that may be able to make use of the Chilean program, such as a display contest, radio tags, billboards and other efforts, Varvel said.

“If they’re interested, we try and make sure they get all the information they need,” he said.

Fiesta bowl partnership

In the past, Chile’s cross-promotional efforts, which culminate with college football’s Fiesta Bowl, have brought valuable visibility to the Chilean deal.

For this year, that relationship has been pared back from the marketing program, but the sales it generated are sure to continue, said Gary Caloroso, marketing director with Escondido-based Giumarra Agricom International.

“The association’s partnership with the Fiesta Bowl has been a great way to cross-promote avocados, because the tasty, versatile fruit really enhances celebrations, special events and other gatherings of party-minded people,” he said.