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Building Demand for California Almonds in Crop Year 2020-21


Each year, the Almond Board of California (ABC) Global Market Development Committee (GMDC) and ABC staff go through a rigorous planning process to recommend the best programs aimed at building mid- and long-term demand for California almonds. This year was no different, particularly as the industry prepares for a projected 3-billion-pound crop.

Market development activities are overseen by GMDC. This year, GMDC held three meetings – in February, May and August 2020 – to discuss and agree upon a final plan for the 2020/21 crop year.

What did make this year’s planning unique was the unforeseen addition of COVID-19 across the globe. While there are significant concerns related to the economic impact of the virus long-term, staff determined that the markets ABC is currently focused on did not show long-term vulnerability to the extent that programs would no longer be effective. In addition, staff sought to support consumers where they are at now. For example, during shelter-in-place orders, the U.S. and UK ABC marketing teams took a nimble approach to tweak their digital advertisements to be more relevant to consumers living through challenges brought on by COVID-19.

Here are two examples of Instagram advertisements from the UK campaign “Do You Almond?” Check out almondsuk’s Instagram account to view more fun ads.

After months of planning, the final plan for the 2020/21 crop year includes robust marketing programs featuring a mix of advertising, influencer partnerships, paid social media, public relations and trade support in 11 key countries – Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the UK and the US.

Marketing plans around the globe

U.S.: The U.S. continues to be the number one destination for California almonds. In 2020/21, ABC is excited to continue its partnership with Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings, who is working  toward the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In addition to this partnership, ABC’s North America marketing team is in the process of conducting new research to better understand millennial consumers, who snack on almonds less than consumers in other demographics and therefore provide a great new opportunity for an expanded marketing approach.

Mexico: The need for credible endorsements from influencers has proven very successful in all markets. In Mexico, specifically, the ABC team will partner with social media influencers as well as A-list celebrity Barbara de Regil, a hyper-famous Mexican actress, to build intrigue for almonds in that market.

Advertising in India is targeted to both men and women and aims to demonstrate how California almonds can fuel families to achieve their collective dreams.

India: In India, the industry’s number one export market, the Almond Board is going heavy on advertising to continue building demand. This year, while TV advertising will continue to be the focus, ABC will ramp up digital programs to reach consumers across multiple touchpoints. In addition to the advertising program, the team will also execute a robust public relations program.

Above is one of many advertisements launched in January 2020 as part of the UK’s “Do You Almond?” campaign.

E4 (UK, France, Germany and Italy): This year, ABC will launch a brand new advertising campaign in France in 2021. In the UK, the team successfully launched their Do You Almond? campaign in January 2020, which included a full takeover of advertising space in London’s public transportation underground rail system. The UK team will continue to use this campaign to reach consumers in a variety of ways throughout the upcoming year. In Germany, the team will advertise on digital billboards in transportation areas, including underground waiting platforms. Like in other markets, ABC will also be partnering with TV and social media influencers to create content that explains how those well-known individuals incorporate almonds into their lives, trying to make almonds more relevant as a snack versus a traditional ingredient. Finally, in Italy, ABC will continue to drive home the message of energy and the fullness that almonds provide as a main reason for consumers to choose almonds.

Here’s one advertisement from ABC’s campaign in South Korea, “Almonds, our Beauty Secret.”

China, South Korea and Japan: All three of ABC’s programs in these markets focus their communications on beauty and will be continuing to do so in the coming year. ABC’s 2020/21 program in Japan will see the most notable changes out of the three countries. ABC re-entered the Japan market in 2017 with a minimal investment that supported a few consumer tactics mixed with some trade activities. This year, ABC is expanding the Japan marketing program to include more direct-to-consumer messaging to cement almonds’ health benefits in the minds of consumers and ensure almonds remain top of mind.

We want to hear from you!

This is only a taste of all the activities ABC will execute in 2020/21 to continue growing long-term demand for California almonds. Stay tuned for more updates from ABC’s Global Market Development team on efforts around the world, and don’t hesitate to contact ABC’s Vice President of Global Market Development Emily Fleischmann with any questions you have throughout the upcoming crop year.