U.S.: Study finds three key drivers to building avocado category development

May 09 , 2018

Avocado shoppers exhibit distinct purchase behaviors in each of the eight geographical regions across the U.S., according to a new study published by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB),

It says its research provides insights into how these distinct behaviors can lead to a greater development of the avocado category.

This new study, based on household purchase data, indicates that regional avocado shopper behaviors have a strong influence on each region’s category development index (CDI), which benchmarks a region’s share of total U.S. avocado purchases against their share of total U.S. population.

Specifically, the report highlights three key drivers in regions with high CDI:

  • Penetration: the percentage of households in the region that purchase avocados.
  • Heavier avocado shopper households: the percentage of households in the region that are Super Heavy (purchasing $25.36+/year) or Heavy (purchasing between US$9.78 and US$25.35/year).
  • Purchase frequency: the average number of annual avocado purchase trips per household in the region.

“The avocado category has developed at different rates across the U.S., and this study highlights the underlying purchase patterns behind that development,” said Emiliano Escobedo, HAB’s executive director.

“HAB is excited to support the industry with new data-based opportunities for Hass avocados, and help usher in the next wave of category development.”

It was found that regions with higher penetration also have higher CDI. Even though 52% of total households in the U.S. purchase avocados, penetration is higher in California, West and South Central, and these three regions have the highest CDI.

This indicates that bringing new shoppers into the market could boost CDI, according to HAB.

However, these three regions also have the highest concentration of Super Heavy and Heavy shoppers, reinforcing the importance of not only bringing in new shoppers but also moving all shoppers up to higher purchase levels.

The third key – purchase frequency – shows that a higher number of purchase trips is associated with higher CDI. 

Regions where the average purchase frequency is 7 or more trips per year have a CDI of over 130, while in regions where purchase frequency is under 6 trips, CDI is less than 90. Therefore, increasing purchase trips will boost CDI.


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