Food

Build business by putting summer on the menu with seasonal California Avocados

Photograph: Buckhorn BBQ + Grill

To satisfy consumers and elevate margins, everything on restaurant menus needs to be a winner. Adding tasty ingredients (that also allow for upcharge), such as California avocados, can make them stand out and catch diners’ notice.

During the spring and summer, restaurant guests are looking for dishes that appeal to a healthier lifestyle. Seasonal ingredients such as California Avocados bring that healthy and delicious aspect to dishes, and locally sourced appeal, too. According to the National Restaurant Association, experiencing local culture and community is Top Trend for consumers. [1]

Now is the ideal time to menu California Avocados, while they’re at the peak of their season and availability. With May being National Salad Month and June being California Avocado Month, there are two great opportunities for fresh avocado menu specials.

Northern California chain Buckhorn BBQ + Grill ran a California Avocado promotion last spring and plans another one this May and June. "We take pride in being a local business that serves the Northern California region with quality and fresh ingredients in our food. That's why partnering with the California Avocado Commission was an easy decision,” said Eilleen Le, Marketing Manager at Buckhorn BBQ + Grill. 

One of the chain’s best-selling dishes is the Krispy Chicken Salad with Avocado. It’s successful because it fulfills the consumer desire for a healthier offering that still has some indulgent mouthfeel from silky avocado and bleu cheese.

Additionally, California avocados are a heart-healthy superfood. They’re nutrient-dense, meaning they provide substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients with relatively few calories [2].

California Avocados also add color and nutty flavor to fresh salsas for grilled fish and chicken, as well as visual appeal as center-of-the-plate components for plant-based entrees.

In Southern California, longtime favorite NORMS Restaurants found success promoting California Avocados in a variety of dishes, from omelets to sandwiches, burgers and salads.  

“We earned significant additional revenue just from the upsell of avocados last year. It boosts our check average, and lets our guests know we’re proud to serve local produce,” said Ingrid Martinez, VP of Marketing for Norms Restaurants. “We love our partnership with California Avocados, and we’ll be doing another promotion this season.”

While restaurant sales seem to be on an upswing, diners are always looking for good value for their money. Special seasonal and colorful dishes with California Avocados communicate freshness, quality and flavor with the added cachet of the California locale that sells well.

According to Datassential, 63% of consumers like or love avocados [2] and over half say they would probably or definitely pay more for a menu item with California Avocados [3], so the season is the reason!

Looking for more ways to menu California Avocados? Contact CAAvocadoFdsvc@gmail.com for information about sourcing or a promotional partnership. Remember: the best avocados have California in them.

Source notes:

1. National Restaurant Association, What’s Hot Culinary Trends, 2023.

2. Datassential 2021 Trends presentation.

3. Source: Menu Matters, “Patron preference for ‘California’ and ‘California Avocados’, 2020”

This post is sponsored by California Avocado Commission

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Leadership

Restaurants bring the industry's concerns to Congress

Neary 600 operators made their case to lawmakers as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.

Financing

Podcast transcript: Virtual Dining Brands co-founder Robbie Earl

A Deeper Dive: What is the future of digital-only concepts? Earl discusses their work to ensure quality and why focusing on restaurant delivery works.

Financing

In the fast-casual sector, Chipotle laps Panera Bread

The Bottom Line: The two fast-casual restaurant pioneers have diverged over the past five years, as the burrito chain has thrived while Panera hit a wall. Here's why.

Trending