The American Pecan Council in 2019 implemented its first course of action based on findings in its Strategic Plan. The result: We were able to repurpose upwards of $2 million into other marketing initiatives that have doubled our reach. That is double the number of consumers that have seen the American Pecan story year over year.
Last fall, APC took a multi-dimensional approach to its marketing efforts collaborating with several agencies and partners to expand our overall target audience engagement and exposure. Due to the increase of marketing activities, we eclipsed the total amount of eyes on our ads last year, within the first seven months of this year alone! On top of that, pecan’s top of mind awareness is at a record high for the season ranking in the No. 2 spot among tree nuts.
Prior to COVID-19, the industry kicked off the Superpowers of Pecans campaign. This campaign was geared towards our target audience of young moms and messaging hit on the super nutrition pecans are packed with. We saw much success from this campaign alone. Social media continues to be a powerful marketing tool to reach young moms. Pulling from data and analytics and conversation listening, we’ve seen an uptick in plant-based meals as well as baking with the stay at home orders in place. We were able to quickly accommodate messaging around these insights.
In our recently wrapped “Pecans at Home” influencer campaign utilizing the Aspire IQ platform, we worked with 7 nano lifestyle creators and reached over 49,000 people to show how pecans can easily be added to a daily diet for added nutritional benefits. We asked influencers to align their messaging with how consumers might be feeling right now being quarantined at home, with a goal of driving purchase consideration for pecans by showcasing how this pantry staple incorporates into family recipes and snacks. While marketing efforts are such a big push in our Federal Marketing Order, there are many other project and activities underway.
Quality Assurance Program
The industry is currently in development of the Quality Assurance Program. This program is the next step in preparation for the future. The goal of the Quality Assurance Program is to create a quality management program that harmonizes American pecan grower, sheller, and accumulator practices to the evaluated U.S. pecan industry “standard” to ultimately make a claim at the consumer level through an APC-branded logo, thus driving demand for U.S grown pecans. The American Pecan Council Quality Assurance Program assures consumers that the pecans they purchase are grown under circumstances that address food safety risks, financial factors, environmental concerns, and treatment of employees. The voluntary Program acknowledges and enhances current industry practices and initiatives, adding value to participating growers, shellers, and accumulator.
We are currently in Phase 2 of the project which involves the development of the program standard and governance structures. The initial standard has been drafted. We have a QAP working group of industry members who are currently revising and editing the standard to ensure it is tailored to our industry. Please keep an eye out for the upcoming article where we will do a deeper dive in the program.
Transparency Through Industry Reports
APC has published data beginning in the 2016 crop year. These reports represent the first time the U.S. pecan industry has had access to their own personal mandatory data from handlers. You might have noticed some additions to the May 2020 pecan industry report. The year over year comparison as well as the month to prior year month comparison is now included in the reports. This gives you an idea of the percent of change. The data is also taken a step further and broken down to the net open position which represents the total pecans in inventory that is available for the marketplace (deducting the net commitments). We will continue to fine tune the report to make sure the display is user friendly and useful for industry members.
Keeping industry informed on the current and upcoming projects is of utmost importance to the APC. We like to say this is YOUR Federal Marketing Order, so we want to ensure you’re up-to-date on how valuable industry dollars are working hard to benefit every member of the American Pecan Industry. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at email@example.com, or reach out to your local Council Representative.