Chile’s avocado exporters help sponsor key U.S. sports matches

In 2011, sports fans in the U.S. will bring in the New Year by enjoying some of the most important college football games, sponsored by Chile’s booming avocado industry. 

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This season, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA) has partnered with one of college football’s premier events – the Fiesta Bowl, which will be played on January 1 in Glendale Arizona – to showcase Chile’s premier avocado sector.

In addition, CAIA has expanded its partnership with college football to two other major contests – the Insight Bowl and college football’s biggest game of all – the 2011 BCS National Championship game on January 10, the final game of the annual Bowl Championship Series (BCS) which is intended to determine the U.S. national college football champion.

Commenting on the CAIA’s strategic initiative with college football’s biggest events, CAIA marketing director, Maggie Bezart said “we are truly honored to have this very unique opportunity.”   Sports events represent a major focus of CAIA’s  promotional efforts.

Established in 2002, CAIA is composed of Chilean avocado importers, exporters and producers. The association’s main objective is to conduct market development activities and promotions to increase consumption of Chilean Hass avocados in the United States during the Chilean season, August through March. Chilean Hass avocados are available throughout the fall and winter, when California avocados are out of season, and help ensure year-round supplies of avocados for U.S. consumers.

Over the last 15 years, Chile’s total avocado exports have expanded significantly, registering an impressive 1,500 percent increase from 1994/95 to the 2009/2010 season, when exports reached 193,000 metric tons.

The U.S. is the most important market for Chilean avocados, normally taking about 70 percent of Chile’s exports.

Although avocados are an important component of Chile’s fruit export industry, they are also an important staple in the Chilean diet.  In fact, Chile has the second highest per capita consumption of avocados in the world at 8.5 lbs, or almost 4 kilos per person.

Foreign consumers are discovering the benefits of avocados that Chileans have long enjoyed.  These include 12 of the 13 vitamins, a rich endowment of potassium and magnesium and zero cholesterol.  Moreover, avocados have been shown to significantly reduce cholesterol rates, and consequently lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This post is also available in Spanish