The country was introduced to American Pecans: The Original Supernut™ on April 25—and consumers may never look at pecans the same way again. The goal of this first-ever national campaign developed by the American Pecan Council is to help consumers realize that pecans are super nutritious, super delicious and super versatile. It’s a new brand identity for pecans and a consumer education initiative that will celebrate the pecan’s heritage as America’s native nut, leverage scientific research documenting the little-known health benefits, and reinforce the taste and versatility of pecans.
“The American pecan industry has a rich history dating back centuries and a powerful story that is largely untold—our goal is to change that,” said Mike Adams, a Texas pecan grower and chairperson of the American Pecan Council—a new organization formed as a result of a Federal Marketing Order (FMO) for pecans approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2016. “Other nuts, to their credit, have benefited from large consumer campaigns for decades. Now, we want to shine a light on our industry that has come together to share the story of the American pecan.”
The new campaign will help make pecans contemporary, on-trend and in demand—giving consumers new reasons to enjoy more pecans more often. Elements of the integrated marketing campaign include digital advertising that showcases all the glorious ways to enjoy pecans that are #notjustpie through social media, food bloggers, a registered dietitian media spokesperson, a #notjustpie recipe contest, and a partnership with two of America’s top digital food platforms, Serious Eats and Simply Recipes. These popular food websites will feature “shoppable” pecan recipes that make it easy to buy pecans via AmazonFresh—marking a first for a commodity board.
The campaign will help change America’s perception of pecans, focusing on three major reasons why they truly are The Original Supernut™.
• Pecans are super nutritious: Pecans are extremely nutrient dense and nearly two decades of research document their heart-health benefits.* Pecans are among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, and contain plant protein, fiber, flavonoids, and essential minerals, including copper, manganese and zinc.
• Pecans are super delicious: With their naturally sweet taste and buttery texture, pecans are a tasty addition to recipes or a delicious snack on their own or combined with dried fruits and savory spices.
• Pecans are super versatile: While pecan pie is a holiday favorite, the possibilities are endless for pecans—from trail mixes, granola bars and other snacks to toppings for salads, grain bowls, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits.
The American Pecan campaign will efficiently reach consumers through the American Pecan Council’s social media channels: @AmericanPecan on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Consumers can find more information about the American heritage, health benefits and creative uses of pecans by visiting the website AmericanPecan.com.
Soon after selecting Weber Shandwick as the marketing agency for the campaign, the APC worked with Weber Shandwick to oversee consumer research to get a better idea of current perceptions about pecans and to test messages that would motivate purchase. Results indicated that the
top-of-mind recall of pecans was significantly lower (15 percent) for pecans compared to other nuts. Many consumers did not even think of pecans as a “nut,” but rather a baking ingredient. Pecans were most associated with pies, sweets and indulgent desserts, while other nuts were more likely to be linked to snacking and nutrition.
“Our objective is to broaden the appeal for pecans as more contemporary and preferred as an everyday snack or versatile cooking ingredient,” Adams said. “We are elated by the positive consumer testing of our new brand and there’s a real sense of optimism throughout the industry for what this campaign can do.”
To help illustrate the versatility of pecans beyond a pie, the campaign kicked off with a New York City pecan pop-up shop called “The Not Pie Shop” that served a complete pecan menu (everything but pie) and featured shelves chocked full of innovative pecan products—from pecan milk, pecan butter and pecan oil to pecan snacks, flour and meal—that were graciously provided by growers and shellers. Fun, interactive cooking demonstrations of pecan recipes were conducted by superfood expert Dawn Jackson Blatner and New York chef Matt Abdoo, along with two popular food bloggers, Lexi Davidson of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella.
Magazine editors, food writers, TV producers and bloggers visited the shop to learn more about The Original Supernut and mingle with the growers, shellers and experts on hand. Our nutrition expert Dawn Jackson Blatner conducted live TV interviews with stations from coast to coast, in which she talked about pecans’ health benefits and demonstrated creative superfood swaps using pecans.
“I was thrilled to help unveil one of the best-kept superfood secrets,” said Blatner, a registered dietitian and author of The Superfood Swap. “Pecans have been overlooked for years, so it’s time to recognize pecans as a supernut. They’re packed with valuable nutrients that we need every day, and there are so many different, delicious ways to enjoy them.”
The April 25 launch was just the beginning. The next phase of the campaign is a special segment on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the nation’s top national morning show. Our nutrition expert Blatner will make an appearance on May 9 to share the American Pecan’s story with the show’s 5 million morning viewers. Stay tuned for more details on the exact timing and our special “viewing event,” but mark your calendar (or set your DVR) to see The Original Supernut featured on America’s favorite morning show.
The new campaign includes multiple assets that can be adapted for growers and shellers to use, such as the new brand logo, digital ads, social media content, videos, photos, recipes and more. APC created a digital toolkit that outlines all the various ways you can use the new brand and the campaign elements for your own marketing efforts. Visit Americanpecan.com/toolkit (password: pecans18) to download these assets, along with campaign messaging and brand guidelines.
With your help, the entire country will have a new view of America’s native nut and, collectively, we will help build new demand for pecans. The APC is always open to suggestions or questions. If you have thoughts on how this new campaign can better benefit you and your marketing efforts, or thoughts on additional elements, do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.