As a millennial, I can’t for the life of my figure out why anyone would need any incentive to buy avocados. They practically sell themselves! And for good reason—they’re nature's candy and they are a treasure.
But the California Avocado Commission isn’t leaving anything to chance, and is creating a whole line of avocado merchandise. That way, all of us millennials whose diets center around avocado toast can act as billboards for other generations who haven’t yet seen the delicious green light.
“The California Avocado Commission team has worn California avocado-branded apparel at festivals and events for years, and we always hear, ‘Where can I buy a shirt/hat/bag like that?’” CAC vice president of marketing Jan DeLyser said to Perishable News. “Now fans will have a convenient online shop where they can purchase merchandise and show off their love of California avocados.”
The Californians are going to have some stiff competition from south of the border. Remember the genius marketing campaign for Avocados From Mexico, which started as a Home Shopping Network-esque Super Bowl commercial and ended with real products like a $2,745 avocado tiara, an instant film camera, an avocado carrying bag and much more?
— FreshPlaza (@FreshPlaza_com) September 16, 2020
But, you have to start somewhere, and apparel isn’t a bad way to do it. CAC is also smart to make the products available for purchase right from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, which relatively recently brought in the direct shopping option.
They’re also smart to capitalize on local pride, like using an avocado in place of the bear on the California flag on T-shirts and putting an Avocado on highway signs. And it's not just merchandise, there's a full line of "lifestyle" merchandise, like a tote bag, duffel bag, stickers and a magnet.
The wildest part of all of this is that you actually can’t buy avocados from the CAC.
“The Commission is not in the business of selling avocados, not through traditional channels and not through the online store,” DeLyser said. “This program is all about dynamic and engaging marketing.”
They should be fine, though. Perishable News reported that the CAC’s newsletter goes to about 200,000 subscribers. So the avocado love is obviously there. Again, as one of PM’s resident millennial experts, I can tell you that I’m already considering buying one. And I don’t even live in California! Pennsylvania’s avocado crop is severely lacking, so it’s the best I can do.
And even as avocado season winds down, the line of merchandise will at least keep people shopping for the harvest that’s already available in stores, and might even coerce some shoppers to choose to buy local produce rather than avocados imported from Mexico. As things cool down, a sweatshirt is more practical than a tiara anyway.