Avocado Express Volume 3 #2

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Hass Avocado Board - Avocado Express: the essential marketing e-bulletin for the Hass avocado industry
En Español VOL. 3 #2
by Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director
Studies published and underway are leading us closer to demonstrated health benefits associated with consuming avocados.
The Hass Avocado Board has made great progress in the years since nutrition research became a top priority. Studies published and underway are leading us closer to demonstrated health benefits associated with consuming avocados.

We are running a long-distance obstacle course. Just as in any good, challenging race of this kind, the path is neither straight nor simple. From the HAB perspective, we are pursuing four priorities:
  1. "Healthy": There is a legal definition for that word. HAB cannot use it to describe avocados as part of a marketing campaign because they don't meet the legal definition. We fail the current definition because the fat content of avocados is over the limit allowed by the definition. Based upon new science, we hope this definition will change to recognize the importance of "good fats" like those that avocados contain. That's an important thrust of HAB nutrition research efforts.


nutrition label
  1. Dietary Guidelines: The Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA are developing new dietary guidelines that will be an integral part of nutrition policy and education initiatives. Historically, the "my plate" and food pyramid graphics were developed from dietary guidelines. We see this as an opportunity to highlight the health benefits of consuming avocados and intend to be involved in those discussions by providing information about the nutritional value of Hass avocados during the public comment period provided by the federal government.

  2. Infants and Toddlers: No federal dietary recommendations currently exist for children under the age of two. Avocado nutritional content may be very good for children, but we will need to prove it with science. Certainly, the consistency of avocados and their taste has already prompted many parents to feed them to their young ones. HAB is assembling information that can be provided as evidence for support in the new guidelines and will explore this area of potential research. HAB will also provide this information during the public comment period provided by the federal government.

  3. Labeling: People are accustomed to checking the nutrition facts panel of the side of food packaging for nutritional information, and that information exists for commodities such as avocados as well. As you may have heard in the news recently, labeling guidelines are currently getting a make-over. This is an opportunity to display avocados in the positive light they deserve. For instance, serving size is a critical aspect. Our current recommended serving size for labeling is one-fifth of an avocado but research shows it is more common for individuals to eat larger servings. The Food and Drug Administration is considering revising its serving size requirements so that a serving of avocado would be 50 grams rather than the current 30 grams. Of course, increasing the serving size would then also boost the amount of calories and fat but also nutrients you can get from one serving of avocado, potentially making avocados a good source of some vitamins and minerals.

nutrition label
Marketing Implications

Why run this long, expensive and challenging obstacle course? In a nutshell, when we develop health claims that are approved by the FDA, marketing messages for avocados will be significantly stronger than today. The success of other food products in doing this supports the value of the investment and the potential marketing success when we win this race.

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