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Almond Board looks north

Marketing push emphasizes healthful aspects of nut

Capital Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Almond Board of California is reaching out to dietitians in Canada and shoppers in Shanghai in an effort to promote California almonds in other countries.

The board's health professionals marketing team is preparing a late-spring and early-summer campaign to contact thousands of dietitians north of the border, according to a board newsletter.

The marketing push will include a presence at the Dietitians of Canada's annual meeting June 14-16 in Toronto, where an exhibit booth will provide attendees with a tool kit and "perfect portion" tin.

Meanwhile, the board is also working with a Shanghai-based advertising agency to make further inroads with China's quickly growing urban middle class, the newsletter stated.

The initiatives reassure Kevin Borror, a Gerber, Calif., farmer growing 450 acres of almonds under contract with Blue Diamond Growers.

"I think they're very important," Borror said of the outreach efforts. "Blue Diamond itself a lot of times leads the way in that kind of stuff, then the Almond Board comes in. ... The Almond Board is a very good resource for us. It costs us a little money, but it's money well spent."

The latest efforts come after the board voted last summer to devote a large chunk of the nearly $18.3 million it budgeted for international marketing to China and India, the Nos. 1 and 4 export destinations for California almonds, according to board statistics.

The money was an ample portion of the Almond Board's more than $51 million total budget, which also includes $18.7 million for marketing in North America.

California almonds have set shipping records in recent years as consumers around the world see them as a versatile ingredient and snack, and because California nuts are considered safe and high quality, Almond Board officials have said.

At the Toronto conference, the Almond Board will sponsor an almond-inspired snack break on the first day, its newsletter stated. Separately this summer, the board will reach out to another professional organization, Professionnel des Diététistes du Québec, which has been receptive to the board's nutrition message.


Almond Board of California: http://www.almondboard.com/Growers


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