Skip to main content

Social Media Influencers Connect Consumers to the Value of Almonds


Social media influencers (left to right) Maya Feller, Shelbi Orne and Ian Theasby addressed attendees during a general lunch session at The Almond Conference 2022.

What do a dietitian, sustainability advocate and plant-based chef all have in common? Well, they’re all big fans of California almonds, and through their partnership with the Almond Board of California (ABC), use their influencer platforms to promote the good work of California almond farmers and the nutritional value found in every nut. 

Over the past year, ABC has worked with more than 100 different influencers, reaching more than 100 million people around the world. 90% of ABC’s influencer partnerships are focused on the positive health benefits of almonds, while 10% of those relationships pertain to how almonds are produced, helping build trust between the grower and consumer.  

Three of these influencers were featured on a panel lunch session at the 50th Annual Almond Conference. With just over 5.5 million followers collectively, each of these influencers create very distinct content for different audiences in their respective areas, yet all share the same appreciation for almonds. 

“What unites them all is their passion and their commitment to making healthy living accessible to people, and importantly, showing people the role that California almonds play as part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Kath Martino, Deputy Director, Europe at ABC.

ABC staff (left to right) Kath Martino and Kiku Severson led the influencers discussion during lunch at The Almond Conference 2022.

Getting Almonds in the Diets of Americans  

Maya Feller (@mayafellerrd), a registered dietitian and nationally recognized nutrition expert from New York, took the stage to discuss her goal of finding foods with cultural relevance around the world. Because she specializes in working with individuals with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic deficiencies, having credible research to back up the nutritional benefits of a food product is crucial, she explained. 

“As a registered dietitian, we're completely obligated to provide evidence based credible care,” Feller said. “Almonds are incredible. We're talking about over 200 research studies looking at almonds, so from my perspective, when I'm thinking about those non-communicable conditions, almonds are at the top of my list.” 

One of the campaigns Feller worked on with the ABC focused on promoting the benefits of almonds as an antioxidant and its effects on skin health. 

“One serving of almonds provides 50% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that is important for healthy skin,” Feller said.  

Between the heart-healthy fats, pro-gut health benefits, and skin-nourishing antioxidants, Feller reiterates to her audience that almonds are an easy choice, being “recognizable, accessible, and affordable for the general consumer.” Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving on almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat. 

Showcasing the Sustainability Story 

Joining her on the panel was Shelbi Orme, known as @shelbizleee on social media. Orme is a trained scientist and sustainability advocate with an Instagram following of over 135,000 users. “Sustainability is not black or white and no food is inherently good or bad, including almonds,” Orme said.  

Orme’s platform focuses on discussing the nuanced gray areas of sustainability. One of those gray areas that Orme debunks on her platform is the misconception that almond production uses an excessive amount of water.  

“What I really wanted to do through our content and working with California Almonds is speak to the other aspects that make almonds sustainable,” Orme said. “It's about more than their water footprint. It's about the tree recycling, orchard recycling; it's also cover crops, because everyone loves a pollinator and talking about how that's important to sustainability. Almonds do that.” 

With such a large following, Orme feels her role is to serve as the middleman between farmers and consumers. She uses her science background to explain the sustainability conceptions that may be too complex for those generations removed from the farm to understand. 

“While the water footprint of an almond might get the front page of many large media outlets, the other sustainable factors that you are all doing doesn't really get the same voice,” Orme explained. “I function as a place to explain it in a consumable way so that the average person understands it a little bit more.” 

Almonds Checking All the Boxes 

ABC’s efforts in influencer marketing go beyond just targeting consumers in the United States and has taken them overseas. ABC partners with BOSH! (, a plant-based and vegan recipe channel that has taken the UK by storm.  

Hosts Ian Theasby and Henry Firth promote almonds in their uniquely crafted, snappy food videos that reach anywhere from 300,000-400,000 views, with some even reaching one million views. 

Since starting their platform, the chefs have curated over 1,000 videos and about 10% of those videos have included some type of almond product because they’re 6g of protein per serving, their texture and they’re an excellent complimentary ingredient in many plant-based and vegan dishes, Theasby said. 

However, even before the UK chefs started working with ABC, almonds had always been a staple ingredient in their cooking simply because it’s a product that “checks all the boxes,” Theasby said during the on-stage discussion.  

“Almonds are just fantastic,” he reiterated. “They're wonderfully versatile; they're great in sweet and great in savory, and there's not many other ingredients that can say that.”  

While each of these influencers have very different purposes for their social channels, they all share the same appreciation for almonds, the farmers that grow them, the California almond industry, and strive to display that to the thousands of individuals who trust their expertise. 

“What I love about working with California almonds is that the packers, the growers, the distributors, just want to get healthy product onto the plate of people around the globe,” Feller concluded.