Moxxy Marketing's Karen Nardozza and WP Produce's Chris Gonzalez Discuss Tropical Avocados
TAMPA, FL - No offense to William Shakespeare, but when it comes to “what’s in a name” anyone in marketing and brand management will tell you “everything.” Among the almost 300 exhibitors at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure, tropical avocados was a name rolling off the tongue.
“These avocados could change the category,” Karen Nardozza, President and CEO of Moxxy Marketing, tells us when asked what retailers need to know about this up-and-coming variety option, which used to be called ‘green skin.’ “How many other categories, especially categories as big as avocados, can you say have only one variety on the shelf? As popular as avocados are, a large percentage of consumers only know Hass, because that’s all they see.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely other varieties of this delicious green fruit, but as far as the consumer is concerned, Karen is not wrong. Unless you venture out of the United States, a vast majority of avocados that go in the basket are Hass. And Karen had a theory that tropical avocados could change that.
The company that heard Moxxy’s call to action and saw its vision for changing the face of the category was WP Produce. In partnership with Moxxy, the company’s Desbry brand of tropical avocados saw a new logo, redesigned PLU sticker, a new 2-count bag, in-store display bins, display-ready cartons (DRCs), and more.
“Southern Exposure is the Super Bowl for us and Moxxy absolutely nailed it,” Chris Gonzalez, Vice President of Sales at WP Produce, shares. “We love the new Desbry logo, and the name 'tropical avocados' is a game-changer. With the new branding, plus the new packaging and in-store displays, the show was a huge success. We’re already seeing growth and expect to ultimately change the avocado category.”
I know Karen to have great insight to the subtle shifts in industry trends and someone looking for the outliers amongst the mainstream. Avocados are not what I thought would fuel her fervor, yet she radiated contagious enthusiasm about tropical avocados.
“I am fully vested in seeing this fruit succeed and growing the category!” Karen shares. “It’s exciting that WP was the first to change their brand messaging and adopt Moxxy’s other strategic recommendations for retailer and shopper education. For example, this variety has a slightly sturdier texture, making it great for slicing and dicing, which also helps it hold up better in foodservice. It also doesn’t oxidize as quickly after being cut, so it’s fresher longer. So few know about it—but that’s changing! With our help, WP is getting the word out and distribution is expanding.”
Karen shares how distributors like Melissa’s love the “tropical” title and what resonates with it, and retailers like Walmart are already adopting the phrase in stores. This new twist is proving that there is a lot more to a name than William Shakespeare would have had us believe. Karen adds that buyers shouldn’t hesitate to add it to their buy sheets, especially with usage tips, recipes and other in-store materials ready to educate shoppers on its versatility.
Desbry is a premium brand that ships high-quality tropical avocados from the Dominican Republic year-round. As someone who will happily have a scoop of avocado with her avocado, I’m excited to see what this brand will do for the overall category.