Supermarket Perimeter - April 2021 - 54

Produce: Avocados

Cinco, " Bazan said. " POS will include eye-catching displays perfect to
inspire guacamole, joint savings offers and social media support. "
Looking ahead to summer, AFM will roll out its first all-produce
national shopper marketing program featuring NatureSweet and
Shuman Farms. The campaign will highlight signature regional
recipes that use produce ingredients for salad creations as a starting
point, including avocados. POS will include merchandising solutions,
consumer savings offers, and social and digital support.
" That will elevate engagement and increase basket ring with regional
salad recipes featuring avocados, tomatoes and Vidalia onions as
shopper prepare to enjoy their summer, " Bazan said.

Demand continues strong
Avocado demand has been on the rise in the United States seemingly
forever, but the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Total U.S.
household penetration reached 64% in 2019, according to the Hass
Avocado Board IRI Consumer Network 2020.
That's great, of course, DeLyser said - but there's still work to
be done.
" There are big opportunities for growth in increasing the number of
times consumers include avocados in their shopping trips and in how
many avocados they buy on each occasion. "
Sales for bagged avocados have increased during the pandemic as
consumers are looking for packaged items to help reduce their time in
stores and may have been touched less by other shoppers, DeLyser said.
Bagged avocados were already on the rise pre-pandemic, and in
2020, bagged avocados made up 22% of volume and 19% of dollar sales,
according to IRI/Freshlook data.
Bazan said Mexican shippers and marketers are also seeing surging
demand for bagged product.

Despite the pandemic, the United States
imported a record 277 million pounds of
Mexican avocados in the first four weeks
of the year leading up to the Super Bowl.
" Bagged sales have gained huge momentum and have become a
COVID-19 category growth hero, " she said. " There has been a shift
toward using bags due to better value, safety and the fact that they are
faster to pick. "
According to Nielsen data cited by AFM, bags now represent about
13% of volume share with 36% growth in volume sales through the end
of January, compared to the same period a year ago. And the bagged
growth has not come at the expense of cannibalizing bulk sales,
Bazan said.
" We see tremendous growth of bags across all regions. There is a
great opportunity for retailers to create an avocado bag destination
or display with solutions that showcase the value of the bag to their
shoppers, " she said. " AFM has reinforced merchandising solutions for
bags this year and are available to retailers at no cost. "
COVID-19 continues to have an impact this year, particularly in
in-person dining in the foodservice sector, including retail foodservice.
But CAC is seeing strong interest in foodservice programs with QSRs
and chains with takeout and delivery.
" Consumer programs this year were built from the get-go with
pandemic realities in mind, " DeLyser said.
Despite the pandemic, the United States imported a record 277 million
pounds of Mexican avocados in the first four weeks of the year leading
up to the Super Bowl, the most important guacamole consumption
event of the year, Bazan said. That's up 19% increase vs the same period
in 2020. And the Mexican industry also set a single-week record in that
period, with 78 million pounds of product coming in one week in the
runup to the game.

As much as avocado consumption has risen in recent years, there's still
plenty of room for growth - and education might be the key, according
to a new study conducted by AFM.
The study found that 73% of shoppers would be more likely to buy
avocados if they had more knowledge about them. During COVID, there
was a shift toward needing to make avocados last longer, with a focus
on ripening and preservation knowledge, Bazan said.
AFM continues to focus on building confidence with shoppers at the
point of sale through its Fresher Longer campaign. The group deployed
an in-store effort with approximately 15,000 points of interruption in the
produce area and on-cart signage across various retailers. Messaging on
the signage was focused on how to slow down the ripening of an avocado.
Through a partnership with Glad, featuring the company's Press N
Seal wrap, AFM is also educating shoppers on how to preserve the other
half of the avocado on in-store POS. All signage includes a QR code
that takes shoppers to a digital experience featuring additional tips and
techniques to help build confidence.
54 - APRIL 2021

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