With the 2019-2020 export season just weeks away, New Zealand’s largest avocado marketing company is backing itself to reward growers with favourable returns for a seventh consecutive season.
The execution of smart promotional plans in Asia, combined with strong relationships with Australia’s most influential retail chains, will be central to Avoco’s success as soon as harvesting for export begins later this month.
This season Avoco is expecting handle about 2.2 million trays – a volume that enables the company to think strategically about its marketing decisions for the benefit of its entire pool, says marketing and communications manager Steve Trickett.
“Australia remains NZ’s largest and most valuable export market for avocados and, as such, will receive about 80 per cent of the expected volume.
“Market conditions and post-harvest fruit quality will be carefully monitored throughout the six-month season in Australia where it’s reported people consume an average of 5kg of avocados per head of population each year.”
Steve says consumption has been steadily growing in Australia and, despite fears that NZ exporters would one day reach a ceiling for sales across the Tasman, the market continued to defy expectations.
“Once again we’re delighted to have secured supply agreements with Australia’s biggest retail chains, who continue to demonstrate their faith in Avoco’s ability to supply premium quality fruit.
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on how our fruit performs right through the supply chain and especially post-harvest to ensure its quality lives up to expectations. But we’re confident that processes we’ve put in place will mitigate against a repeat of the quality challenges that the entire NZ industry faced in Australia last year.”
This season Avoco’s early harvest fruit will mostly be directed to Asian markets where its Avanza premium brand is highly sought-after by consumers, many of whom value the special nutritional qualities and unique taste profile of NZ avocados.
An early finish to the California season and smaller volumes from Mexico early mean NZ fruit is likely to be in high demand in Korea during the next few months – and, Avanza is well-placed to benefit from these favourable market conditions, says Steve.
“Korea is already our most significant market by volume outside of Australia and that will continue in 2019. Our in-market agency is highly tuned into the behaviours of consumers and we’ve tailored a promotional strategy for Korea designed to resonate with them strongly.”
Social media and influencer campaigns will feature heavily across all Asian markets, along with in-store tasting events and marketing activity that creates awareness about where to buy Avanza avocados and the best way to use them in meals.
Last year was the first time NZ exporters gained market access to China. Avoco made modest shipments as it sought to test distribution channels and better understand the purchasing habits of targeted Chinese consumers.
Steve says lessons learned in their first season would serve them well as they looked to grow the market, especially among the generation of young mothers and health-conscious, experimental ‘foodies’.
“To be visible in a market the size of China’s, we must be hyper-local and digitally-connected to cut through the noise and reach our desired demographic.”