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CAC launches snacking campaign

CAC-FreshSnackingBookletCvrAs part of on-going efforts to encourage expanded California avocado consumption, the California Avocado Commission launched a new snacking campaign featuring dozens of avocado snack ideas. The program includes retail programs, public relations, social media, email and online communications.

"It's time to bring more snacking opportunities to the produce department," Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing at the CAC, said in a press release. California-Avocado-CucumberCalifornia avocado cucumber bites."The California Avocado Commission is going after nutritious snacking in a big way, with ideas ranging from guacamole and veggie dippers to crackers and avocados, to quick-bite tapas, smoothies and more. We think our initiative ties-in nicely with other fresh efforts currently underway to shift snacking from center store to produce."

The commission front-loaded the California avocado snacking campaign in March by providing supermarket registered dietitians with a tool kit that included nutrition information, data on snacking and recipes that they could use in California avocado marketing programs.

CAC noted that Americans' snacking behaviors are on the rise and now represent about 50 percent of all eating occasions, according to a recent report from the Hartman Group. With this level of contribution to the diet, dietitians recognize the importance of making snacks count with nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Snacks also represent a timely opportunity to encourage eating more fruit, a food group that is under-consumed in the American diet.

In April CAC's snacking campaign kicked into gear with a press release distributed to consumer media. Utilizing avocado nutrition messaging and snacking statistics to emphasize the importance and prevalence of snacking, the release also demonstrates ways in which premium California avocados add flavor and texture to healthy snacks.

Four easy and delicious "100-calorie snack" recipes created by registered dietitian Katie Ferraro, including California Avocado Cucumber Cups and Power Hour Pick-Me-Up Smoothies, were provided to consumer media to help spread California avocado snacking ideas.

Retail support includes a recipe brochure titled California Fresh Snacking. The brochure features 12 easy, produce-rich California avocado snacking recipes.

In addition to recipes, the brochure provides California avocado preparation and handling tips, nutrition information and messaging to encourage consumers to choose California avocados as a healthy meal and snack option throughout the day.

The recipe brochures will be merchandised on California avocado in-store displays.

CAC also provides the brochures to supermarket registered dietitians for in-store avocado-centric activities and events.

Co-marketing partners will help extend the reach of California avocado snacking ideas. One of the recipes in the California Fresh Snacking brochure, California Avocado Cracker Snacks, will be promoted by co-marketing partner Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices. Another recipe, Summer Stuffed Avocados, features Naturipe blueberries.

This is CAC's second year of marketing California avocados together with Naturipe berries, which will feature the recipe California Avocado Red, White and Blueberry Salsa on labels of their California-sourced blueberries this season.

"Avocado tracking research that shows 49 percent of avocado consumers purchase them for snacking, compared to 55 and 66 percent, respectively, for lunch and dinner usage," DeLyser added in the press release. "So consumers already accept avocados for snacking, they are snacking more overall, and there is room for California avocados to capture more of those snacking opportunities by providing creative usage ideas."

The commission will promote the snacking initiative through The Scoop blog as well as in a targeted email to about 165,000 fans.

Posts of California avocado snacking images on popular social media sites and a snacking-themed contest will encourage sharing of California avocado snack ideas.

CAC also will promote the featured recipes on its website, CaliforniaAvocado.com.