Shelf-level info addresses avocado ripeness, preservation
Avocados From Mexico (AFM) has developed an educational campaign that helps importers, retailers, and consumers overcome common barriers to purchase. The guidelines, outlined in the new Avocados From Mexico Education Playbook, offer importers and retailers new insight for positioning and strategy.
For more than a year, AFM performed in-depth custom research, analysis, and testing to better combat the biggest barriers to purchase after price and selection at store. The research found that ripening and preserving are key areas of concern to consumers, so AFM began testing various avocado techniques to ripen and preserve avocados. Tests to speed up and slow down ripening and preserving the remaining half of an avocado were performed in the Avocados From Mexico Culinary Center. Based on their findings, Avocados From Mexico created a communication platform called “Ready When You’re Ready,” focused on enabling consumers to feel confident their avocados are ready when they need them to be.
Research indicates heavy avocado users buy at different stages of ripeness for all types of meals and can adjust meals accordingly. Light/medium users abandon planned meals if ripeness is not optimal.
Although choosing an avocado is a less prevalent barrier than preservation and ripening, it’s important to educate consumers on picking the fruit for immediate and future use.
“In our conversations with consumers, we learned how much they value education,” says Alvaro Luque, president of AFM. “Emotions are especially high throughout the avocado-buying experience. Perception of wasted fruit can be frustrating for them, lessening the value of their purchase, while causing hesitation of future purchases.”
AFM partnered with the Walmart produce team to further the education message. Channel strips in-store gain shoppers’ attention across 4,000+ stores nationwide and drive them to an online chatbot. The chatbot provides in-the-moment tips such as how to choose, store, and cook with avocados.
“Cutting and peeling avocados was also consistently conveyed as a secondary frustration connected with usage,” says Stephanie Bazan, VP of market development for Avocados From Mexico. “Functional interaction and emotional connection are heavily aligned, creating tension between behavior and mindset that can stagnate buyers. So having access to the chatbot allowed customers and retail workers to gain insightful knowledge.”
Glad Press ‘n Seal Partnership
In an inaugural partnership with food wrap company Glad, AFM reinforced avocado knowledge by giving consumers a solution to preserve their avocados. AFM offers tips to help keep avocados fresh longer and to help both consumers and professionals handle them with ease. The program claims that with Glad Press’n Seal, avocados last three times longer and seals 10 times tighter than with other plastic wraps.
“Consumers feel anxious about their remaining avocado half not lasting,” says Dianne Le, associate director of shopper marketing. “The incredible opportunity to partner with Glad has allowed AFM a strong vehicle to educate consumers on how to keep the unused portion fresh to avoid waste.”
The Glad partnership focuses on ways to “fully seal” the other half of the avocado. Through 1.49 million digital coupons, 2,775 in-store education focused sampling activations with national retailers, store signage, and a robust social media program, AFM and Glad reached more than 1 million people this spring and launched an additional influencer campaign in late April running through early June.