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Mission Produce Inc. in Oxnard, CA, "has been involved with the United convention for a number of years," said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales and marketing. "We see it as a valuable tool to get our message out with our customers and another chance to meet with those people" as well as with "potential new customers that are out there."

Mission will once again have a booth at the 2009 United Fresh Produce Association trade show this year. "What we will be promoting in our booth this year is fresh avocados and asparagus" as well as "our fresh guacamole," Mr. Wileman said. "We will be sampling our fresh guacamole this year."

One of the key selling points of Mission's fresh guacamole is its packaging, he said. The refrigerated product is packaged using an ultra-high-pressure packaging system. "Packaging sells," and the Mission packaging is graphically "very dynamic," he said. It is offered in two pack styles: pouches and "easy-peel-top trays for convenience."

Also significant is the flavor of the product. "We think we have an authentic avocado flavor to our product," he said. It is available in two flavors: mild and spicy. "Naturally because we are new in the [ultra-high-pressure] fresh guacamole field, [the United show] will give us a real opportunity to have people taste our product and compare it with others."

With regard to asparagus, "We are in the midst of just starting our California asparagus season, so we will be talking that up" at the booth, Mr. Wileman said April 9.

As for fresh avocados, the United show will give Mission an opportunity "to discuss [with attendees] what we consider to be a supply issue going through the summer months." With California's avocado volume down this year and the Mexican season starting to wind down with the arrival of summer, while there will not be "a total lack of supplies" through the summer months, "it will definitely be different than what we've been used to," he said.