The avocado industry certainly won’t turn down demand, attention and publicity.
Unfortunately this summer hasn’t really been the best time for avocados to get this push.
In late August, California supplies were dwindling, and prices were above $50 per carton of hass, continuing several months of high f.o.b.s. Mexico was just starting up and won’t have promotable supplies for some time.
Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, Irvine, said promotions like Subway’s and Burger King’s keep avocados in the public consciousness, but when consumers see avocados for more than $2 each at the grocery store, many are disappointed.
Of course this is no one’s fault.
Marketers of many fresh produce commodities have been fighting to become more mainstream, especially in quick-serve restaurants. Many point to sliced apples being added to McDonald’s Happy Meals this fall as a standard item as a major victory for the produce industry.
As the summer avocado promotions show us, getting a program going is only part of the battle. Next comes the ability to supply the thousands of chain stores with high-quality product.
In avocados’ case, it includes getting enough volume into retail for these newly converted customers.
Having stronger demand than supply is a good situation to be in but only up to a point. If produce companies can’t supply the growing demand, it could be a missed opportunity.
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