Avocados From Mexico (AFM), a Dallas, Texas-based wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican Hass Avocado Importers Association (MHAIA), has developed an educational campaign to help 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 insights for positioning and strategy.
For more than a year, AFM performed in-depth custom research, analysis, and testing to better understand the educational needs to combat the biggest barriers in avocado purchasing, aside from price and selection, at a 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, while 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 selecting the fruit for immediate and future use.
“In our conversations with consumers, we learned how much they value education,” said Alvaro Luque, president of Avocados From Mexico. “Emotions are especially high throughout the avocado buying experience and perception of wasted fruit can be frustrating for them, lessening the value of their purchase, while causing hesitation of future purchases.”
Avocados From Mexico was the first produce brand to partner with the Walmart Produce Team via the Walmart Chatbot. Partnering with Walmart for a second year, the program utilized channel strips in-store to gain shoppers’ attention across 4,000-plus stores nationwide. They were then driven to an online Chatbot, which was ready to provide in-the-moment, helpful 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,” said 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.”
In an inaugural partnership with food wrap category leader, Glad, AFM reinforced avocado knowledge by providing consumers with a solution to preserve their avocados. For consumers and professionals alike, Avocados From Mexico offers trusted techniques and tips to help maximize the goodness of each avocado to be sure it stays fresher longer and is handled with ease.
“Consumers feel anxious about their remaining avocado half not lasting,” said 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 un-used portion fresh to avoid waste.”
The Glad partnership focused 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.