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The answer – really cheap guacamole!

It’s typically not easy to find coupons for fresh produce. But lately, it’s not hard at all to find coupons for avocados, thanks to an aggressive industry marketing group that offers plentiful coupons, ads, displays – and stunts like the one that it’s pulled off in New Orleans this week.

Avocados From Mexico has set up a Guinness world record-setting display of avocados in a Rouses Market grocery store. Overflowing boxes stacked nearly to the ceiling contain a total of 112,000 avocados. That’s plenty for everyone – and they’re plenty cheap, too. During “Avocado Fest,” avocados are on sale, three for a dollar, and Avocados from Mexico is offering coupons in store that bring the total price down to three for just 25 cents.

It’s the latest big marketing push for the little fruit, and the latest avocado coupon offer among many in recent years. Which raises the questions – what’s the deal with all those avocados? And why is it so easy to find coupons for avocados, but not for apples or carrots or bananas or zucchini?

Unlike most other produce items grown domestically or imported from all over, the vast majority of avocados come from Mexico. Only about 15% of Hass avocados, the most popular variety, are grown in the U.S. The rest – about two billion pounds worth – are imported from Mexico.

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So back in 2013, avocado importers created Avocados From Mexico, a nonprofit trade organization that advertises and promotes avocados in the U.S. There’s no one group responsible for marketing, say, strawberries or grapes. So avocados have been marketed much more aggressively, with promotions and coupons the likes of which are typically seen only for packaged products.

And that’s precisely the idea. Avocados From Mexico CEO Alvaro Luque used to work in marketing for tortilla maker Mission Foods. His background in packaged product marketing was just what the trade organization was looking for. Instead of setting up generic displays in stores, filled with avocados that all look the same no matter where they came from or who’s responsible for importing them, Luque’s goal was to make Avocados From Mexico “a Pepsi or Coca-Cola type of brand in the produce world.”

So Avocados From Mexico has run TV commercials during the Super Bowl. It once sponsored a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. And it’s offered millions and millions of coupons in every form imaginable – in newspaper inserts, as printable and digital offers, as in-store handouts, tearpads and offers printed at the register.

Many of those offers are made in conjunction with other brands. Avocados From Mexico has partnered with companies offering complementary products, offering coupons for money off a purchase of avocados together with products by Old El Paso, Tabasco or Ro*tel. It’s even partnered with the maker of Glad plastic wrap, to offer coupons in conjunction with an effort to educate consumers about the best avocado preservation techniques.

You’ll see lots of promotions around National Avocado Day on July 31, and on National Guacamole Day on September 16. Cinco de Mayo is also a big annual event for avocado marketing. And Avocados From Mexico heavily promotes its products during football season, as a way to show that avocados aren’t just a warm-weather fruit. The group also shares various recipes, to show that avocados are for more than just guacamole. Its ultimate goal is to get avocados on our shopping lists, and encourage us to make impulse purchases in the store, by creating “new reasons to come together and build on traditions for the future.”

A recent Avocados From Mexico study found that 74% of shoppers said they would buy more avocados if they saw more “displays around the store to remind them of avocados.” So if you happen to visit Rouses Market in New Orleans, with its 112,000 avocados on display this week – consider yourself reminded. And don’t forget to grab a coupon.

Image source: Rouses

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  1. Pingback: Holy Guacamole, Batman...but no carrots - deranged.mederanged.me

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