Avocado Express Volume 2 #2

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En Español VOL. 2 #2
"Love One Today" -- An Irresistible Call to Action
by Emiliano Escobedo, HAB Executive Director

Regardless of where our Hass avocados originate, it's getting easier and easier to find a reminder that today is a good day to include one in your diet! That's because HAB's "Love One Today" marketing positioning is taking hold across the industry.

Even as HAB prepares for an official launch in the fall, this nutrition-based marketing call to action is already finding its way across HAB marketing channels. Love One Today is a unifying icon of HAB's single-minded marketing strategy to communicate its nutrition research, which has become the most critical element in promoting consumption.

In the past, HAB and the member organizations implemented a number of successful joint marketing programs primarily focused on sports. With HAB's nutrition research pipeline on its way to produce new science, those programs gave way to a more focused mission on nutrition as a key marketing platform to drive consumer demand. In 2011 HAB, together with the member organizations, identified the health and wellness consumers as the target audience as this group is motivated by nutrition information when making decisions about the food they consume. Love One Today is the platform that HAB and its member organizations - as well as various stakeholder groups – should use when communicating the nutritional benefits of avocados to maintain a single voice in the market that is relevant to our target audience.

The Love One Today program is featured on www.loveonetoday.com. HAB is supporting the program through targeted outreach to the health professional/registered dietitian community and with a recipe contest for dietitians who are part of the dietary practice groups in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Outreach includes a consumer public relations campaign, social media, trade advertising and a Spanish version of the Love One Today website. HAB has been communicating to member organizations and industry members to seek support and place the Love One Today mark in their individual programs and vehicles, from retail and foodservice programs to packaging.

This is science-based nutritional education, bolstered by the ubiquitous tagline in the logo, "naturally good fats + cholesterol free." Love One Today represents a natural extension of the nutritional emphasis that HAB has developed over the past several years - one that will continue as HAB's robust research program forges ahead.

This simple message encourages Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans to help increase fruit and vegetable intake and to use as a delicious, cholesterol-free, whole food source of naturally good fats.

HAB selected the Love One Today positioning after concept testing with consumers earlier in the year. Brought to life visually as a distinctive mark with the words "fresh avocados," Love One Today provides a clear and simple unifying nutrition message for target audiences.

As part of the campaign launch, HAB will introduce the mark at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) to be held Oct. 19 through 22 in Houston. The mark is available at no cost to HAB member organizations and stakeholders and it can be used in marketing materials and communication programs as a call to action and a reasons to purchase. The industry can learn more about the program and how to use the mark to promote the nutritional benefits of fresh Hass avocados at www.hassavocadoboard.com/loveonetoday.



Nikki A. Ford, a veteran nutritionist and nutrition research specialist who holds a doctorate in nutritional sciences, has been named HAB's first nutrition director following a decade of various research assignments in Texas and Illinois. She joins HAB from her position at the Dell Pediatric Research Institute in Austin, where she also served as an adjunct faculty member at Texas State University.

Ford earned her doctorate in nutritional sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, following a Bachelor of Science in animal bioscience from Pennsylvania State University. She also holds a Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.

Ford has held research positions at both universities and lists a number of teaching and service projects on her resume. Her work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed publications and she has contributed to several scientific books and numerous abstracts. She maintains a number of professional memberships including in the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society for Nutrition.

Here's Nikki's outlook on her new position:

What prompted you to accept the first-ever nutrition director position with the Hass Avocado Board?
I am really passionate about the value of consuming as many "whole foods" as possible as opposed to processed products. I already have a love of avocados, especially because they are a very nutrient-packed food. They have no downside! As opposed to so many other types of food, I would never discourage anyone from eating an avocado.

What are the challenges that you see in this new position?
One challenge is the complexity of food regulation. Another is overcoming the perception that some people still have about the amount of calories and fat avocados have, even though the fat in avocados can be described as "good fat." The public doesn't always understand the difference between good and bad fats. What's neat about my new role is that I can design studies and fund projects that will look at the impact of avocados on weight loss and weight management. Not many published studies have examined that.

Do you have some specific first-year goals on the research front?
Early on, we need to look at the research pipeline and figure out what has the most potential for early study. We'll outline the pipelines of research, figure out what has the greatest potential for early studies and determine what types of barriers must be overcome before more intricate studies.

Is your love of avocados a recent discovery or have you been a fan for a while?
I've come to California from Texas, and Texas is definitely avocado country, so I've liked them for quite a while. But this is the first time I'm relating to avocado research. I've worked with tomatoes and fish oils and there are some similarities. But avocados have a really great delivery system for some of the nutrients they provide.

Do you have a favorite recipe?
I love them on sandwiches, but now I'm exploring and looking at a couple of appealing recipes: a chickpea avocado spread and, of course, avocado ice cream.

You studied business administration as well. Will that help you in your research work?
I think it will. I should allow me to communicate better with non-scientists, with people in the avocado business world, and help with understanding some of the marketing aspects of the industry. I'm familiar with some of that language.

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