Avocados are one of the largest categories in fresh produce, with $2.3 billion in annual retail sales, according to recent studies. A new study published by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) - Avocado Shopper Insights: Regional Demographics and Purchase Trends - shows that avocado-purchasing households are a diverse group. While avocado-purchasing households are found in large numbers across all eight geographic regions, the demographic make-up of these households varies by region, as do their avocado purchasing habits.
This new study, based on household purchase data from the IRI Consumer Network, details “who” is purchasing avocados in each region. These regional demographic profiles are based on the following variables:
- Household size (number of people in the household)
- Presence of children in the household
- Marital status of head of household
- Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic identity of head of household
- Race of head of household
- Age of head of household
- Household income
“Not all avocado shoppers are the same,” explains Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. “These demographic and purchase insights help us see how the avocado shoppers in one part of the country differ from avocado shoppers in other parts of the country. This can help us spot and better understand growth opportunities in various regions and across various demographic groups.”
For example, the study shows that the majority of avocado-purchasing households do not have children. Avocado-purchasing households without children comprise 64 percent at the national level and show little variability across the individual regions. In contrast, the share of Hispanic avocado-purchasing households varies significantly by region, with the highest concentrations in California (30.2 percent) and South Central (27.1 percent), and the lowest in Great Lakes (8.3 percent), Midsouth (8.6 percent) and Plains (4.9 percent). In like manner, the study examines each demographic variable within each region and indexes each region’s share to the Total U.S. share. HAB says this index enables readers to identify meaningful demographic differences between the regional and national profiles and can be useful for marketers seeking to tailor communications to particular regions or shopper segments.
The study also details “how” avocado shoppers are purchasing the category in each region. The regional purchase trend profiles are based on the following purchase metrics:
- Household penetration rate (percentage of households purchasing avocados)
- Buying rate: average annual avocados spend per avocado-purchasing household
- Average number of trips per avocado-purchasing household
- Average avocado dollar spend per trip
The study shows that just over half (51 percent) of total U.S. households purchase avocados, but this penetration rate varies by region. For example, California (69 percent), West (66 percent) and South Central (61 percent) have the top three regional penetration rates, well above the national average, while the other five regions fall below the national average. These same three regions also lead in buying rate: California holds the top spot, with an average annual avocado spend per household of $30. Plains is currently at the other end of the regional spectrum at $16 per household.
The study also includes region-by-region figures on avocado purchases by demographic segment. Taken together, the demographic and purchase profiles, regional comparisons and purchase trends by region, provide sellers and marketers with a comprehensive set of facts and insights to inform and support avocado category growth strategies, HAB concluded.