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Chilean Avocado Marketing Goes On Despite Crop Loss

The news is cold for Chilean avocados. The Chilean Hass Avocado Committee issued this statement:

Impact of Antarctic Cold Wave on 07-08 Chilean Hass Avocado Crop

Based on a careful review and assessment by industry experts and growers of the Hass avocado production areas that were damaged by the Antarctic cold wave that hit central Chile in mid-July, the Comite de Paltas de Chile is estimating at this time Hass avocado crop losses of between 33% to 37% from last year’s record Hass avocado production figures.

Therefore this means that during the 07-08 export season — which runs from July 2007 to February 2008 — Chile will export to its international markets between 230 to 242 million pounds of Hass avocados.

The good news is that as in past years, Chile will continue to provide consumers and retailers from around the world — including those in the U.S. and the European Union — with fruit of the highest quality and maturity standards during the Northern Hemisphere’s low avocado production period.

Meanwhile, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association has reassured the trade that marketing efforts will continue even though volume is down:


CAIA to Continue Consumer & Retail Marketing of
Chilean Hass Avocados

A historic Antarctic cold wave in Chile has reduced the country’s Hass avocado crop this year. Despite the climatic setback, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) will continue to aggressively market and promote Chilean Hass avocados during the 2007-08 season.

“Although we will have less of a crop this year, we remain strongly committed to supplying a high volume of quality Chilean Hass avocados to the United States this season,” says Jorge Covarrubias, CAIA chairman and president of Santa Cruz S.A.

CAIA will update crop forecasts as soon as there is additional information.

“We are very excited about our consumer and retail marketing programs and believe their success will lead to increased Chilean Hass avocado consumption among general market and Latino consumers,” says Dana Thomas, CAIA board director and president of Index Fresh.

The Chilean avocado producers deserve a lot of credit. One of the largest problems in produce marketing is that so many marketers try to turn the spigot on and off depending on crop dynamics. Conventional wisdom, however, is that marketing requires a steady and consistent approach to be maximally effective.

The key is to really understand what the purpose of the marketing is. Some portion of marketing dollars may be spent specifically to boost that week’s sales, and, obviously, that expenditure can and should fluctuate. Yet much money is really being spent on brand building and that really shouldn’t depend too much on whether this week’s supplies are long or short.

With volume down, demand and prices will probably be strong. Many growers would be tempted to stop all marketing and worry about next year… well, next year. Even if dollars spent have to be adjusted down a bit due to the decline in volume, the commitment to continue the marketing effort is visionary and should be commended.

Fortunately, as cold as the winds might be in Chile, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association has a hot and spicy new spokesperson: Ingrid Hoffman, the first Latina to host her own cooking show on the Food Network, will represent the association at Fiestas de las Américas in Miami:

Ingrid Hoffmann to appear at the Fiestas de las Américas
on behalf of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association

Ingrid Hoffmann, host of the new show Simply Delicioso on Food Network, will be a spokesperson for the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) to bring awareness to and to promote the use of Chilean Avocados.

Ingrid, a Colombian-born food and décor expert, is the first Latina to host her own exclusive cooking show on Food Network.

Hoffmann, who resides in Miami, will appear for CAIA at Fiestas de las Américas on Sept. 16. Fiesta de las Américas is a major consumer event for the Hispanic community, which will be held Sept. 15 and 16 in Santa Ana, California. With over 250,000 attendees in 2006, this Latin celebration has become one of the largest Independence Day events in the country.

Hoffmann’s show, Simply Delicioso, airs on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. EST/PST on Food Network. She is also gearing up for the next season of her hit show, Delicioso, on Galavision. “Reaching both the Spanish and English speaking audiences has been an incredible experience,” says Hoffmann. “I am passionate about food and I want to inspire people to approach cooking in a new way. I also love introducing my culture through food, using delectable Latin ingredients, such as avocados.”

“Her shows and appearances will gain the attention of both Hispanic and general market audiences in a very meaningful way,” says Maggie Bezart, marketing director of CAIA. “Hispanics are big users of avocados, so we’ve designed our efforts to target this market. The Hispanic shopper is as important to us as the general market shopper,” continues Bezart. “Many of our programs are directed specifically to the Hispanic community and many are bilingual.”

The Fiestas de las Américas is a mega event for outreach to Latino consumers.

The weather in Chile is not controllable, but the marketing in Santa Ana, California, is. Here is to a commitment to building demand in weather both hot and cold.

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