The company’s investments to encourage and support innovation include:
Culinary Innovation: The creation and maintenance of a state-of-the-art Culinary Center located in the company HQ in Irving, Texas. The Culinary Center serves as the U.S. hub for year-round education, creativity, culinary ingenuity, and thought leadership. It is leveraged for innovative sessions and culinary exploration, besides serving as the hub of the only avocado-centric university existing in Food Service work. The company invested $750,000 in the development of the center, and invests approximately $60,000 in its maintenance, including the operational cost of the Avocado University.
Talent development: One of the top priorities of the organization is to develop top-notch talent across the board. The small company of fewer than 50 people invests over $200K each year to provide world-class training to 100% of its employees in the areas of leadership, soft-skills, professional knowledge and hard-skills in the most prestigious institutions in the world including:
Innovation Workshop: In 2020, the company invested in an exclusive innovation workshop developed by Yale University and customized for Avocados From Mexico. This workshop took place at Yale University in New Haven over an entire week, and every employee from Sr. Manager up participated. AFM also invited the advertising partners that work daily with its marketing teams on developing and executing the brand’s marketing programs. In total, 25 people participated in the week-long innovation workshop.
Research investment: The goals of the organization are determined by the opportunities identified through research, as our strategic direction is crafted to seize those opportunities. We rely heavily on research and allocate an average of $3 Million per year on research alone. Since our product belongs to a package-less category, and we only have one product, the definition of “development” in our case is applicable to marketing innovations that represent new and different approaches to accomplish our two main objectives: Increase the demand of Avocados From Mexico in the U.S. and build the Avocados From Mexico brand.
We leverage research to identify future opportunities and potential threats way ahead of time. From the data obtained, we focus on discovering and analyzing the trends and insights that help us predict potential future outcomes. That approach enables us to craft and execute the right strategies to seize those opportunities and to neutralize those threats even before they are obvious, which has been one of the cornerstones of our success.
Through the assessment performed by The Cambridge Group, our company was identified as a Performance Driven Company, according to their business classification model. That discovery led to the development of our goals measurement tech platform which we called AMBO, (Avocados Management by Objectives). AMBO is leveraged to track the organization’s business and marketing goals by groups and by individuals on an ongoing basis as these get accomplished.
Despite being a non-profit marketing organization with no sales goals, we set ambitious marketing performance goals aimed to contribute to our two main objectives: 1) Increase avocado consumption in the U.S, 2) Increase the brand equity of Avocados From Mexico in the U.S. Currently, there are over 200 goals and objectives being tracked on AMBO corresponding to our 2019-2020 fiscal year, and all those goals and objectives are scheduled to be met before the fiscal years ends in June 2020. All and each of them were created to directly impact the two main objectives of the organization mentioned above. The entire process shows a masterfully orchestrated alignment of every action taken and every dollar invested by each individual and every group within the organization, with the main goals of it.