Late fall and early winter for avocado marketers used to mean one thing, as far as retail promotions were concerned: the Super Bowl. Things have changed, they say.

Now their product is apt to be promoted year-round, for any event that involves gatherings of hungry people.

“It seems to be that any holiday that has gatherings is ideal for an avocado program,” said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales and marketing for Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif.

“Super Bowl is naturally a big one. Cinco de Mayo is big, but we see good pulls even now for Halloween.”

In the fall, with the first peak volumes of Mexican avocados rolling into U.S. retail stores, promotions get under way to coincide with college football and the Major League Baseball playoffs, and then continue to roll on from there, said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc., Santa Paula, Calif.

“The way we view the promotions is we view promotion as basically a 52-week-a-year activity,” he said.

“We view Super Bowl as a pretty darn good promotion and a great industry event, but we’re packing and shipping 52 weeks a year, and avocados are extremely promotable, especially when they’re priced at reasonable levels, so we’re out promoting all year.”

There’s an avocado promotion for any season, any size, any package, said Chris Henry, sales and marketing director for Giumarra Agricom International, a division of Los Angeles-based The Giumarra Cos. He is based in Escondido, Calif.

“It’s tough to narrow it to one time because a lot of people do a lot of things,” he said.

“After the historic high prices last year, I think the retailers are excited to see price points that are promotional. I know we have some good promotions on organics. I just think you’re going to see a lot more volume move through the system with these promotional prices.”

Promotable prices will accelerate activity, said Bob Lucy, president of Fallbrook, Calif.-based Del Rey Avocado Inc.

“It will be at prices that will still be attractive, in the mid-$20s to $30, I’m sure, very soon,” he said in mid-October.

“The market on 60s is $20-23, and I’d expect it to be $3 higher probably within a few weeks. The 48s are in the $25-30 range — it’s all over the board. It will be high $20s. The others will line up traditionally to where they should be in price.”