Although Chile may not be considered a major source of supply for the U.S. avocado market, retailers increasingly look to the country as a supply option. “Retailers appreciate the consistently high-quality avocados provided by Chile,” says Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) in San Carlos, CA.

According to CAIA, the United States is the second-largest export market for Chilean avocados. “In 2017-18, Chile shipped 66 million pounds of avocados to the United States,” says Brux. “We’re expecting similar volumes in 2018-19. Chile fills a very interesting niche, and we definitely see opportunities to further expand our retail partnerships this season and beyond.”

The Chilean avocado season runs until about March. “We focus on usage ideas that are a good fit for fall and winter,” says Brux. “We definitely have football-focused entertaining ideas and images/posts for social media.”

In 2017-18, CAIA ran its first-ever targeted digital advertising campaign, working with Hulu, Spotify and numerous health, fitness and foodie websites. It plans to expand digital marketing efforts in 2018-19, according to Brux.

CAIA encourages retailers to promote new usage ideas in line with current trends. “Move beyond guacamole and avocado toast to ideas incorporating avocados into all meal occasions, whether breakfast, lunch or dessert,” says Brux. “Take traditional recipes and show how the taste, texture and nutrition of avocados can elevate them to the next level.”

Brux reports CAIA’s primary focus is giving retailers the support they need to drive sales of Chilean avocados. “Our merchandisers work with retailers to design customized, tailored promotions, and our retailer partnerships have been expanding year on year,” she says.

Key promotion time frames for Chilean fruit items

According to the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, these are the optimal times for specific commodity promotion
Cherries: December and January
Blueberries: End of December through mid-March
Stone Fruit: February and March
Grapes: January through April
Broadline Chilean fruit promotion: Mid-February through mid-March