Consumers are shopping for avocados in a variety of retail channels, which provides them with more choices and greater convenience. The Hass Avocado Board’s recently published "Avocado Category Shopper Segmentation by Channel", which reveals how shopper purchase choices and habits are impacting avocado category growth in each of the retail channels.
The study grouped avocado purchasing households into four segments based on their annual avocado spend: Shoppers that spent $25.36 or more annually on avocados were designated as Super Heavy; shoppers that spent between $9.78 and $25.35 were designated as Heavy; shoppers that spent between $3.69 and $9.77 were designated as Medium; and shoppers that spent $3.68 or less were designated as Light. The study then analyzed the mix of segments in each channel, how often each segment purchased avocados, and how much each segment spent per trip.
“Broad availability of avocados in traditional and emerging channels helps the industry meet consumers’ growing demand for this healthy and popular fruit,” explains Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. “This study provides new data-based opportunities to help meet the demand in each retail channel by examining shopper behaviors.”
The study found that each channel has its own distinct mix of shopper segments. Grocery had the smallest proportion of Super Heavy and Heavy shoppers (53 percent), while Club’s shopper mix was strongly weighted towards Super Heavy and Heavy shoppers (82 percent). The prominence of these high-value shopper segments, and their purchase patterns within each channel, revealed actionable, data-based insights for Hass avocados.
Grocery, the largest channel for the category, gained new Super Heavy shoppers and held on to its Heavy shoppers. However, both of these valuable shopper segments spent less on avocados in 2016 than the prior year. This decline was driven by a -4 percent drop in Super Heavy spend per trip, and a -2 percent drop in Heavy purchase frequency. Reversing these shopper segment trends is a key growth opportunity for the Grocery channel.
The study also revealed that each segment contributed to the category in surprising and unexpected ways for each channel. Super Heavy shoppers are a big influence on the category in general due to their large share of category purchases (73 percent). For example, they were found to be key drivers for the channels that posted category gains. And, this segment drove the purchase declines in those channels that posted category losses. This resulted in a relatively small Super Heavy contribution (4 percent) to total category year-over-year growth.
Medium shoppers hold a much smaller share of category purchases (7 percent), but were a surprisingly strong driver in the channels that saw growth. Medium shopper purchases did not decline in the channels which posted losses, and as a result, Medium shoppers contributed the largest share of incremental purchases (46 percent) to the overall category. In summary, the Super Heavy shoppers purchased the most avocados, but the Medium shoppers drove the growth.