California Avocado Commission's Jan DeLyser Discusses Cinco de Mayo Merchandising
IRVINE, CA - In California, Cinco de Mayo is revelatory. California once was part of Mexico, and Mexican food and beverages are in the fabric of Californian life. Here, Cinco de Mayo has evolved from its battle origins to a celebration expressing appreciation for Mexican cuisine and culture. As both the supply- and buy-sides prepare for the fresh produce fanfare that Cinco de Mayo generates, I turned to Jan DeLyser, Vice President of Marketing for California Avocado Commission (CAC), who knows a thing or two about merchandising fresh.
“The key for Cinco de Mayo merchandising is to create a festive atmosphere in the produce department, and avocados are a truly festive produce item. So, building displays centered around avocados is a great start!” Jan explains. “We provide display bins that can be used throughout the California avocado season, along with recipe cards—including one for guacamole that is perfect for Cinco de Mayo.”
CAC works in tandem with retailers to create customized promotions that include sales and display contests, in-store merchandising, social and digital support, and many other programs—all in the name of drawing in regular and impulse shoppers alike.
“Some involve recipes that we create, which retailers feature in their materials. We also sponsor retail dietitian programs. An upcoming program will feature produce-rich street tacos starring California avocados,” Jan notes.
The recipes are an important call-out, as many of Cinco de Mayo celebrations pre-COVID-19 occurred in restaurants and bars.
“Last year, that activity was minimal, but this year we anticipate that some foodservice operators will take advantage of the event to encourage a return to dining out," Jan explains. "That will vary state by state and county by county. Last year, we did see that retail sales of avocados experienced a lift with Cinco de Mayo, despite the pandemic. We expect that will happen again this year and it may be stronger than in 2020.”
Cinco de Mayo occurs during a period of peak California avocado supply this year, and CAC isn’t the only one looking forward to strong pull-through at retail.
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