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Social media plays important role in marketing strategy
2 December 2015

The consumer obsession with posting images of what’s on their plate to social media is driving a new marketing campaign in Asia for New Zealand’s export supply leaders.

Across the AVANZA export markets, including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, consumers will be encouraged to post photos of themselves sampling avocados and drinking avocado smoothies. The competition will feature on popular social media channels Facebook and Instagram, and will be tied to other promotional activity in these growing Asian markets.

This activity will be key to maintaining awareness of New Zealand avocados across Asia this season where growth is being hampered by a shortage of premium grade export fruit.

AVOCO ships avocados to Asia under the AVANZA brand with another New Zealand exporter, jointly handling 75% to 80% of avocado exports outside Australia. In Thailand, the low volumes expected has already forced AVANZA to reduce the number of Thai distributors it works with from five down to two.

Export manager for South East Asia, Carwyn Williams, says Thailand had previously been a “rock star” market for AVANZA.

“Market investment in various promotions in 2014-15 saw us achieve significant sales growth in Thailand,” Carwyn says. “We’d love to continue that same level of growth but this season’s supply shortage has forced us to be more realistic about what we can achieve.

“Essentially we’re aiming to maintain our shelf space and use social media marketing to maintain a positive brand presence.”

He says the good news for New Zealand growers was that the supply-demand conditions would help to achieve strong values in the market.

Sharing photos of their food online with friends and followers is already popular throughout Asia. The AVANZA campaign hooks into this social trend with the expectation New Zealand avocados will gain extensive online coverage.

In general, images of avocados have been popping up more and more on Instagram which is a site popular among foodies and fitness fanatics. These images feature avocados used in a variety of ways, including on toast, in smoothies, sushi and in salads.

It’s the health benefits of avocados that have fitness enthusiasts all abuzz. Avocados are popular menu ingredients in this consumer sector for being a nutrient-dense, cholesterol-free fruit. It also helps that they’re a great source of energy, keeping consumers fuller for longer.

These health messages will be further promoted by AVANZA this season among market influencers, including bloggers and industry celebrities. Other promotional activity this year will include in-store tastings and a highly visible avocado smoothie wagon on the streets of Tokyo.

This season, it’s estimated that New Zealand will produce a total of 4.4 million avocado trays, with 2.9 million for export. AVOCO is expected to handle about 1.7 million export trays, with 80 per cent destined for Australia, which is New Zealand’s largest and highest value market.

The remaining 20 per cent will be sent to Asia under the AVANZA brand and split across  Japan, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and India.

 

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