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Ongoing project

Avocado retail education 2024 (AV23007)

Key research provider: Direct 2 C

What is it all about?

This project is addressing the barriers to consumers purchasing Australian avocados, notably poor quality (ripeness at time of purchase, goes off too quickly, poor quality, bruises early) and the knowledge among retail staff about varietal attributes, correct handling, storage, ripening and display of avocados in-store.

From February to June 2024, the project team will educate retail staff on best-in-class behaviours for both Hass and Shepard varieties of avocados, including:

  1. Key selling messages of each variety (flesh, Shepard won’t go brown when cut, best recipes, seasonality, etc)
  2. Supply chain management, handling, storage and display in-store
  3. Displaying avocados at various stages of ripeness and avoiding bruising when merchandising.

These activities will lead to increased demand for Australian avocados, driving purchase intent, conversion at the shelf, and ultimately, increased consumer satisfaction due to improved quality.

A field team will be deployed into several Coles and Woolworths stores multiple times to conduct surveys on retail staff, undertake audits of avocado fixtures and storage, and train retail staff on best practices. 

The overall expected outcome of the 2024 program will be continued improvement in the previous year’s measurables for quality management and staff knowledge, including the following: 

  • Retail displays meeting ‘best practice standards’ (Hass from 73.9 per cent in 2023 to 85 per cent in 2024, and Shepard 66.8 per cent in 2023 to 85 per cent in 2024)
  • Staff knowledge of varietal characteristics (Hass from 35.2 per cent in 2023 to 75 per cent in 2024, and Shepard 41.2 per cent in 2023 to 75 per cent in 2024)
  • Staff knowledge of ripeness cues (Hass and Shepard maintain 98 per cent)
  • Staff knowledge of care and handling (from 62.8 per cent in 2023 to 75 per cent in 2024)
  • Staff participation in the program (store managers 38.6 per cent in 2023 to 60 per cent in 2024 and produce managers from 42.6 per cent in 2023 to 75 per cent in 2024).
Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Avocado Fund