A Tico is in Charge of the Largest Marketing Company in the World Dedicated to Avocado

    Álvaro Luque leads “Avocados From Mexico”

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    Avocados From Mexico (Aguacates de México) is the largest marketing company in the world dedicated to avocado.It is a firm led by the Costa Rican Álvaro Luque for 10 years and who, among other things, has achieved -along with his team- that the avocado from Mexico has a market share of close to 90% in the United States.

    This is an exponential increase compared to the percentages that this fruit had in the American Union before the arrival of this native of San Pedro de Montes de Oca and a staunch follower of DeportivoSaprissa.

    Huge impact in the US

    AFM is not responsible for placing the avocado on the shelves of American supermarkets. It is a subsidiary of the Mexican Association of Avocado Importers HASS and the Association of Avocado Producers and Packers-Exporters of Mexico.

    In total there are 30,000 producers from areas such as Michoacán -the most relevant in the world- and Jalisco and 70 packers. Avocados from Mexico contributed $4 billion to the US economy in 2021, according to the Avocado Institute of Mexico.There are other competitors in the market, such as avocados from California as well as those from Colombia and Peru, but their market share is small.

    Product of hard work

    This success is not the product of chance. Luque has been working in the food sector for years (he spent 15 years with Maseca) and has the sharp nose and fang to visualize the opportunities that the US market continues to offer so that avocados continue to reach more tables.

    Although this is a huge challenge: AFM can only work with fresh, unprocessed fruit. “My entire product portfolio is just one product. Nothing that you have packed goes through us, as a matter of law. There I have a very big restriction.

    “As a marketer, one of the great vehicles to be able to do marketing is packaging and here I have neither packaging nor brand. But the biggest challenge is mentality, because people don’t get up in the morning thinking about a brand (of avocados).”It was a challenge to create a brand but above all to create an experience behind a fresh product,” he recounted from Texas, where he lives with his family.

    More room to grow

    And it is that this challenge is not only to give a brand value to the category, but that this becomes a greater purchase of Mexican avocado by Americans.The senior AFM executive explained that currently the average purchase per person is less than three avocados per month, with a per capita consumption of 8 pounds. “Of course there is room to continue growing and achieve greater consumption. It is a category that gains value and is also very profitable. The great challenge is that there is volume that allows us to continue growing”, he commented.

    Advertising in the Super Bowl

    One of the strategies designed to support this task and that has yielded the greatest returns is advertising in the Super Bowl.In the LVII edition, Avocados From Mexico aired a commercial starring actress Anna Faris that was seen by millions of people in the United States, but also outside its borders. By the way, in this ad Farris shares credits with the Costa Rican model Eduardo Esquivel.

    Luque does not hesitate to explain why it is important to be present at this sporting event:“The Super Bowl is an incredible step in our success story as a company. It is the largest marketing arena in the United States.

    “I would say that as a one-night event it is the largest marketing event in the world (data revealed in the US shows that this year’s event was seen by 113 million people).

    “It is that it is not only the country that focuses on watching the game, but it is the country that focuses on watching advertising. And that is why it is a very important decision of why invest in the Super Bowl. And it is that guacamole and American football go hand in hand, but also at the beginning of the year there is only avocado available from Mexico.

    “But there is one more reason: in times when people pay for subscriptions so they don’t have to see commercials, in this case people are willing to see the ads. It is the only time of the year the consumer wants to see them, wants to comment on them… people will pay attention to me and that worked for us (for eight years)”, he expressed.

    Luque shared some very good news: in the year from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, the sales record was broken and reached 2.5 billion pounds of avocado.And now the Tico has in mind to break this record for the following period. Hence, the Super Bowl continues to be a more than important lever.

    Not forgetting the homeland

    But the hustle and bustle of being in charge of AFM does not take away his heart in his homeland, as he confessed. That is why he tries to visit Costa Rica at least once a year with the whole family.

    In fact, he confessed that the pandemic became a very difficult stage because he could not come to see his relatives. That is why when the borders were reopened and the flights were reactivated -plus opening the space on the agenda- he did not hesitate to come to the homeland.

    He even said that as a marketer, he would find it fascinating to work on the country brand of Costa Rica, given the good name that the mere mention of our nation’s name has in the United States. And he gave as an example what the expression “Pura Vida” conveys among tourists.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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