Avocados From Mexico has not only been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021, but also has been recognized as the top innovator in the Branding category. The list honors businesses that have found a way to be resilient in the past year and turned challenges into impact-making processes.
This year’s list features 463 businesses from 29 countries. AFM’s honor follows being named to Fast Company’s List of 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators last year.
“We are honored to be named to Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world and recognized for our continued innovation during a year that brought numerous challenges to every industry,” said Alvaro Luque, CEO and president of Avocados From Mexico. “At AFM, we’ve reinvented the way that produce is marketed in the U.S., creating a highly visible brand in a brandless category over the past seven years, on our way to become the most innovative produce company in the world.”
AFM was further recognized for its achievements by taking home the No. 1 spot in Fast Company’s category for Most Innovative Branding. The category honors breakthrough brands that have “figured out their core identity and having fun from there,” which is of utmost importance to AFM’s marketing strategy. AFM joins brands including White Claw and Domino’s, which have achieved No. 1 in branding in years past.
“As a package-less fruit, our innovative marketing strategies have taken the Mexican avocado from just another fruit in the produce aisle to Avocados From Mexico, one of the most recognized avocado brands on the market and the first-ever produce brand to be ranked No. 1 in the branding category of this esteemed list,” said Luque.
Avocados From Mexico’s innovation has been a driving force behind the brand’s market penetration and growth since its inception in 2013, selling ideas that increase avocado imports into the U.S. and leading several “industry firsts” for the produce category. From guacamole to avocado toast, the superfruit has become an American obsession with more than 2.5 billion pounds of avocados consumed yearly in the U.S. Mexico supplies 80 percent of the country’s avocados.
Brand preference also has increased from 20 percent to more than 55 percent since 2013. The U.S. economy has benefitted from the fruits of AFM’s labor, with the brand adding $6.5 billion in economic output during the 2019-20 growing season1.
While 2020 was a year like none before, Avocados From Mexico was up to the challenge. As the first-ever fresh produce brand to advertise during the Big Game, the brand also became the first to place an advertising asset on the blockchain as part of its 2020 Big Game campaign. The same month, AFM launched the world’s first polished-casual restaurant focused entirely on avocados that also served as an innovation incubator to test inventive avocado uses.
As another testament of its innovation, Dallas, Texas-based AFM launched the only Avo University certified program in existence, a free education platform for industry professionals that builds avocado product knowledge and strategies to drive consumer demand. The brand also launched its first in-store celebrity shopper program, complemented with a virtual consumer extension, which drove record-breaking avocado imports in the weeks leading up to the 2021 Big Game.
“Throughout the years, we have been very proud of the many accolades and recognitions received for the innovations that we have introduced into our industry, however, this one is different. This recognition is the most consequential and preeminent of all, as it doesn’t award one project in particular but instead recognizes our innovative culture as a company and the total product of AFM’s contributions,” said Ivonne Kinser, head of digital marketing and e-commerce at Avocados From Mexico.
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses across the globe and industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process. The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
“In a year of unprecedented challenges, the companies on this list exhibit fearlessness, ingenuity and creativity in the face of crisis,” said Fast Company Deputy Editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with Senior Editor Amy Farley.
To coincide with the issue launch, Fast Company hosted its first Most Innovative Companies Summit on March 9 and 10 to celebrate the Most Innovative Companies in business, provide an early look at major business trends and offer the inspiration and practical insights on what it takes to innovate in 2021. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2021) is now available online here, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 16. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.