With 81 million pounds of avocados forecast to be consumed for Cinco de Mayo festivities, the event is shaping up to move even more fruit than February’s “Big Game.” The California Avocado Commission (CAC) plans to kick off its spring-through-early-fall season with a strong Cinco de Mayo program that integrates consumer advertising, public relations outreach, retail activity and online marketing.
“California avocado season is ramping up, and we expect there to be a good supply of California avocados with outstanding quality in support of the Cinco de Mayo demand,” said Jan DeLyser, VP of marketing for CAC. Mother’s Day comes right on the heels of Cinco de Mayo, so we’re encouraging retailers to merchandise both ripe and breaking avocados to capitalize on demand for multiple occasions.”
California celebrity chefs and restaurateurs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, well known as Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” and for their participation on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” will serve as CAC’s Cinco de Mayo spokespeople. Milliken and Feniger will participate in media interviews and be featured in a broadcast news release to encourage avocado consumption for the event. The chefs will note that California avocados are in season and perfect for entertaining from Cinco de Mayo through early fall.
Milliken and Feniger, owners of the Border Grill restaurants in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev., as well as the Border Grill Truck, created two new California avocado-centric recipes for Cinco de Mayo. Their “Crunchy California Avocado Fritters” and “California Avocado and Shrimp Tostadas” recipes will be featured at CaliforniaAvocado.com, promoted to traditional media nationwide and marketed to influential food and lifestyle bloggers.
“Mary Sue and I are excited to speak on behalf of the California Avocado Commission because honestly there is nothing better than California avocados,” said Feniger.
“We use thousands of pounds of avocados in our restaurants each year and look forward to the California season when the fruit is dependably creamy, nutty and delicious,” added Milliken.
This year CAC developed a recipe for a produce-rich Cinco de Mayo salad. The salad calls for just five ingredients: California avocados, Dulcinea PureHeart® Mini Watermelons, jicama, lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper. CAC will promote the recipe online, on its Facebook page, which now has more than 80,000 fans, and through a recipe email in April to more than 130,000 subscribers. CAC also will create a Cinco de Mayo microsite and mobile page so that shoppers can access California avocado recipes and party ideas while on the go. A social media sweepstakes for California avocado fans also will encourage consumer awareness. Point-of-sale materials, including Cinco de Mayo signage, California avocado recipe booklets and display bins, are available for retailers/wholesalers and can be ordered at CaliforniaAvocado.com/retailers-pos-order-form.
Created in 1978, CAC strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 5,000 avocado growers. CAC serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.
In the photo at top: Chef Susan Feniger, left, Jan DeLyser and Chef Mary Sue Milliken.