The growing influence of avocados

avocado toast
Millennials prefer fresh menu items like avocado toast.

Millennials have over $200 billion in annual buying power and are concerned with nutrition and healthy food options, according to research from the Haas Avocado Board. This consumer group has the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables, and is seeking ready-prepared food because of their busy lifestyle.

Promotions using social media that interact with millennials will be most successful. Retailers that nurture an ongoing and genuine relationship with their customers will have more of an impact, according to the avocado board, as 70 percent of Americans say they are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more with companies they feel provide above-par customer service.

To reach this dynamic consumer group, retailers can utilize engaging content to interact with them, the Haas Avocado Board recommends. The retailer content could include healthy food promotions as well as offering prepared foods such as mini sliders made with fresh avocados. Additionally, the best method to reach millennials is through hyper-targeted content messaging with various social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. Millennials will engage more with brands they trust and social media is the best way of having an open dialogue with this group.

Further, personal appearance is cited as a reason millennials are consuming more vegetables according to Subway Restaurants’ National Eat Your Vegetables Day Survey. Millennials are more likely to eat vegetables to look better and lose weight. This generation is more self-aware than previous generations due to their social, photo-driven culture making looking better a natural motivator.

Younger consumers are also using ready-to-eat fresh prepared food because it saves time and is perceived as a quick version of the homemade meal. The younger adults focus on fresh foods and getting out of the kitchen quickly.

Retailers are leveraging the health aura of fresh avocados in many ways. California Tortilla is offering a healthy new option by introducing the Super Food Burrito. California Tortilla has dozens of locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania. New locations in New Jersey, New York and Florida are coming soon.

Made with customer’s choice of all-natural, GMO-free Mesquite chicken breast or farm-fresh vegetables, the Super Food Burrito is wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. It is filled with Mexican quinoa (with black beans, corn, jalapenos and salsa), Feta cheese, Roma tomatoes and fresh Hass avocado slices with avocado-honey vinaigrette and topped with slaw made from yet another super food, kale. The Super Food Burrito will be available through March 31 at all California Tortilla locations nationwide.

Appealing to Hispanics

Another key demographic group in which fresh avocados resonate with is the Hispanic consumer.  As Hispanics are now a significant part of America's football fan base with a record-making 1.5 million tuning in for football games last year, HAB recently unveiled a new Mini Carnitas Sliders recipe. The savory shredded pork finger sandwich is easy to make and topped with a golden avocado-mango salsa.

Adding fresh avocado to the menu offers nutritious benefits and is a great substitute for snack foods loaded with bad fats. For more information on avocados and recipes in Spanish, including how to make the Mini Carnitas Sliders with Golden Avocado Salsa, visit www.SaboreaUnoHoy.com.

"Ask any futbol or football fan what is the better sport and the answer is always different. However, one thing not to get lost in translation is the love for avocados and guacamole," said Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. "Fresh avocados are a delicious common ground for sports fans across cultures and they contain naturally good fats and are cholesterol-free."

The Hass Avocado Board estimated that more than a record 270 million fresh avocados would be eaten during Big Game Week, enough avocados to fill a football field end zone to end zone over 53 feet high, 8 feet over the goal posts. Traditionally avocado's strongest showing of the year, Big Game Week celebrations underscore how avocados are a tasty, unifying food that futbol and football fans alike can agree upon.