Back to June 2021

APC marketing recap for the mid-year

With the first two quarters of the 2020/2021 fiscal year in the books, the American Pecan Council updates the industry on its marketing activities.


Clippings from social media posts for the Super Safe Pecan Debate that the APC shared during its marketing recap.

Some of the posts, recipes, and images from the "Super Safe Pecan Debate," the first quarter campaign that brought record-breaking online engagement. Shows like NBC's "Today" and publications like Food & Wine picked up the debate.

The American Pecan Council had its biannual meeting on April 28 to discuss mid fiscal year updates on activities approved in the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget. The topics of discussion included Grades and Standards, Industry Relations, and Domestic and International Marketing. During the marketing presentation, APC staff provided a recap of the first and second quarter activities for the 2021 Fiscal Year. In this article, the Council will delve into these updates and how the marketing is working hard for industry members.

In the first two quarters of the 2021 fiscal year, we saw the strongest campaign performance in brand history! Consumer reach was at 447 million, exceeding the original goal set. During the 6-month period, snack and holiday recipes reached over 500,000 views, an indicator of purchase intent.

First Quarter Campaign Activations & Results

Publication logos that shared the Super Safe Pecan Debate, and a circle graph that shows pecans had 2 times the Share of Voice for feature stories than almonds (42% vs. 22%).

Shows like NBC’s “Today” and publications like Food & Wine picked up the Super Safe Pecan Debate during the first quarter of the 2020/2021 Fiscal Year.

The “Super Safe Pecan Debate” was a hardworking campaign garnering the best yet media results, going viral. This campaign helped American Pecans rank #1 amongst other leading nut commodities during the first quarter, which means more consumers were hearing and seeing pecans than other nuts. 

The “debate” around pecan pronunciation drove record-breaking online engagement. The buzz of the Debate continued into the rest of the quarter as we inspired consumers with “undebatably delicious” holiday snacks and seasonal recipes on the American Pecan site.

Second Quarter Consumer Campaign Activations & Results

During the second quarter, American Pecans partnered with actress Angela Kinsey of “The Office”—who still enjoys fresh pecans from her grandparents’ trees in north Texas—to help people clean up their snacking habits with nutrition education and easy snack inspiration. Kinsey highlighted the snack reset movement to encourage consumers to clean up their snacks in Lifestyle magazine. 

Clippings from media coverage of the Clean Up Your Snacks campaign in the 2nd quarter. The campaign reached 22 million people.

For the second quarter, American Pecans partnered with Angela Kinsey of “The Office” and saw great engagement.

On top of that, Kinsey took to social media and polled fans on how they eat pecans garnering close to 10,000 votes! American Pecans also had a sweepstake for consumers where 3.3K consumers submitted photos showing off messy, snack-riddled desks for a chance to win pecans and workplace swag. Social media advertisements showcased nutritious pecan snacks and drove visitors to featured recipes on the site and the Clean Up Your Snacks landing page, totaling 167,000 clicks, 65 percent more than estimated.​ One out of four visitors entered the sweepstakes to win an American Pecans prize pack. Our website visitors were hungry for snacking ideas, consuming nearly 120,000 pageviews of snack recipes, exceeding our goal of 100,000 pageviews.​

Reaching the Target Audience with Omni-Channel Campaigns

We use the omnichannel campaigns to access multiple platforms to message via Power of Scale and Frequency. Hyper focusing on key markets for our industry in which we have engaged the core audience segment of Gen X mothers with frequent messaging. There have been 16 major cities airing over 23,000 commercials to date through television, broadcast radio, podcasts, targeted social videos, and targeted geofencing. This campaign alone has delivered almost 350 million consumer reaches.

Strong Results from the Influencer Led Marketing

AspireIQ continues to allow us to reach our target audience efficiently and effectively by contracting directly with social media influencers who produce and share quality content showcasing pecans. From lifestyle and mommy bloggers to Olympians, RNs, chefs, and Bachelor stars, we’ve worked with 26 creators in FY21 who have produced 133 posts for us. 1,718,000 people have seen that content, and our engagement rate is 12.3 percent, which is well above the average. 

By calculating a metric called the Total Media Value (TMV), we can see how much it would cost to generate the same amount of impressions, likes, and comments with paid advertising. In our case, the TMV would equate to a spend of $95.6K, showing us our Return on Investment is 301 percent! Last but not least, our owned @AmericanPecan Instagram account has grown over 13 percent, with 1,400 new followers keeping up with pecans. Follow along @AmericanPecan and look under our tagged content to see and share the vast array of sponsored content our army of influencers is producing for the industry.

Reaching Nutritionist and Dietitians

Another very important and influential segment of our target audience is the health professional community. These highly motivated individuals are receptive to hearing about the health benefits, heritage, and versatility of pecans. Though activations have moved to the virtual stage, our education efforts have successfully put pecans top of mind to enjoy and recommend, and our engagement with this audience remains strong and consistent. Read on to learn about some of our recent touchpoints with nutritionists and dietitians:

RDBA—Nutritious Pecans Meet Today’s Consumer Needs

This past April, American Pecans partnered with the leading membership organization of grocery store dietitians, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA). With RDBA, American Pecans hosted an interactive educational webinar on Snacking Solutions for Consumers: Three Trends Driving Purchasing Decisions in 2021. The webinar featured two registered dietitians, Allison Webster, Ph.D., RD, Director of Research and Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, and Rabiya Bower, RD, LDN, Program Coordinator for the MS/RDN Program at Thomas Jefferson University and former retail dietitian. 

During the webinar, the speakers shared insights into three emerging consumer trends (convenience, nutrition, and flavor), highlighted the ways in which pecans directly meet these consumer needs, and discussed how health professionals can apply these trends in their everyday practice to inspire positive habits. This engaging webinar reached over 6,000 health professionals, with 11 major grocery retailers represented among the attendees.

In tandem with this event, the American Pecan Council collaborated with registered dietitian and culinary expert, Kristy Del Coro, to develop two brand-new culinary resources supporting these evolving consumer trends, which are now available on the Health Professionals Resources page of our website. Though designed with health professionals in mind, these handouts are available for industry use as well. They offer a variety of pecan inspiration – whether it be innovative pecan pairing ideas or simple ways to incorporate this delicious nut into everyday meals. 

Pecan Powerhouses Network

On May 5, we hosted the second event of the Pecan Powerhouses Network 2021 Quarterly Webinar series, during which attendees heard from second-generation organic pecan farmer Laura Harper. Harper shared about her fascinating journey in the pecan industry, helped the health professionals understand what a true “day in the life” looks like for a farmer, and gave them a unique glimpse into how pecans move from the trees to their tables. A big thank you to Laura Harper for representing the industry so excellently! In our final two 2021 webinars, we’ll feature other special guests—including a culinary expert and registered dietitian. Stay tuned!

Diversified Marketing Plan Raises Pecans to the Top

Through all the diversified marketing campaigns and activations direct to consumers and health professionals, consumption is up 36 percent since the inception of the Federal Marketing Order. On top of that, consumption rates sustained with a growth of 8.5 percent during COVID. All the marketing activities described above have garnered over 770 million reaches to consumers in the first two quarters of the 20/21 fiscal year alone. 

What does all of this mean, and how does it impact industry members? By reaching consumers with messaging, the marketing is putting American Pecans at the top of mind and encouraging purchase intent in various ways. The more consumers are aware and educated about the many benefits of pecans, the more apt they are to buy pecans. The more product purchased by end users, the more product moves throughout the chain, beginning from the grower. When we look at the industry data published in the Pecan Positions Reports, shipments are up 13 percent and inventory is down 27 percent. The increased shipment of pecans means there is an increase in movement through the chain of commerce. A displaced pecan is a win for all pecan industry members from the grower all the way to retail.

Author Photo

The American Pecan Council

The American Pecan Council (APC) is a group of pecan growers and shellers who are dedicated to growing, harvesting, and processing America’s native nut. Founded in 2016 through a Federal Marketing Order, the APC’s mission is to promote the many benefits of the American Pecan and help tell its story. With oversight by the USDA, APC aims to build consumer demand, develop markets and establish industry standards. APC is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and funded by pecan handlers in 15 pecan-producing states. To learn more visit www.AmericanPecan.com.