The Irvine-based California Avocado Commission will continue to use an integrated approach to reach its target consumers this season, while putting more emphasis than ever on the California angle, said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing.

“Radio has been a solid performer for the California avocado marketing program over the years,” she said, and that medium will continue to play an important role this season.

The commission will try to drive consumers in cities such as Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Seattle, as well as throughout California, to retail and foodservice establishments that are promoting avocados at key times of the year when the volume is at its peak, DeLyser said.

“Retailers have been very supportive of that outreach,” she said.

National print advertising also is on the agenda, as are outdoor billboards.

“We’re really tailoring (billboards) to the market,” she said.

Merchandising teams will meet with key U.S. retailers who want to support California avocados and tailor promotions for them.

Last year, retail shelf-talk banners reminded consumers in the salad dressing and snack-food aisles to visit the produce department and pick up some avocados, DeLyser said. The commission will repeat the program this year but will focus on the bread section.

“Bread is one of the most popular aisles shopped in the grocery store,” she said.

High-graphic signage will tempt shoppers with recipes for sourdough toast with mashed avocado; and bacon, avocado and tomato sandwiches, and encourage them to visit the produce department to buy some avocados.

California branding

The commission will continue to feature avocado growers in advertising, but this year, the ads will accentuate the California attributes.

“California branding has long been a part of our program,” DeLyser said, “but we’re going to step up what differentiates California and what differentiates California avocado growers.”

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, when California avocados are at their peak of availability, the commission will tie in the fruit with traditional American holidays and the picnics and gatherings that accompany them.

Major network TV spots are under consideration for the Fourth of July that could center around a mantra like, “Put a little green in your red white and blue,” she said.

Other programs include:

• A retail advertising contest from mid-May through mid-September for prizes like the iPad, iPod Touch and Kindle Fire;

• Consumer public relations, where artisan chefs around country will talk about avocado recipes and share ideas for outdoor eating occasions and American holidays;

• Nutrition communications focusing on recipes that will fit into a healthy-eating profile during the summer holidays;

• Social media and online communications featuring a micro site on the commission’s web page that will tie together all the promotional activities;

• Continuing sponsorship of public television’s “America’s Test Kitchen” program which reaches more than 1 million viewers;

• Advertising and possible editorial content in Eating Well, Fine Cooking, Sunset and Saveur magazines;

• In-store broadcasting and grocery cart signs to alert consumers that avocados are available in the produce department;

• Tie-ins on digital epicurean sites such as and; and

• Trade advertising in foodservice and retail publications.

“A key part of our success is our ability to integrate across all media and platforms that reach our target customers,” DeLyser said.