SAAGA adopts tactical approach to get more avos into SA kitchens

With locally grown avocados hitting market shelves a little earlier this year, the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) will use the opportunity to encourage more South Africans to increase consumption of avos.

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SAAGA has upped its local marketing spend significantly, and will be promoting local avos and their range of culinary uses to consumers through an integrated media campaign. The campaign will include advertorials; online advertising; a presence on social media platforms; editorials and regular contact with relevant food media.

“SAAGA will really go all out this year to promote avos and growth in the local market,” explains Derek Donkin, CEO of the South African Subtropical Growers’ Association. “The association’s ultimate aim is to get more people eating more avos.”

The campaign will also raise the profile of local avos through high consumer visibility. This will be achieved through retail promotions in numerous large retailers, including in-store promotions and in-store display competitions. Consumer and retailer research surveys will also be undertaken, to better understand consumers’ perceptions, awareness and usage of avos.

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SAAGA last conducted consumer research in 2008, and there has been extensive promotional activity among consumers since then. This latest research aims to uncover how consumers have changed since 2008, establish current consumer attitudes and behaviours regarding avocados, and investigate ways to encourage increased purchasing.

Consumers will be engaged through focus groups, in-store interceptions, social media analysis and annual tracking studies. Retail research will comprise face-to-face or telephonic interviews with buyers in selected retailers to establish retailer and shopper buying behaviour.

The association will once again be looking to spark interest around avos in the food service industry through a competition focusing on student chefs. For the past couple of years SAAGA has hosted this competition among junior chefs, which sees them having to design original recipes using avos. The competition aims to encourage chefs to use avos more in their regular dishes, and to explore their own creativity by conceptualising imaginative avo recipes.

It’s anticipated these efforts will go a long way to further raising consumer awareness of local avos, and encouraging them to stock up more on the fruits.

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