California Walnut Sees Increase in Sales with Retail Programs During American Heart Month
FOLSOM, CA - The California Walnut Board has many reasons to celebrate after seeing an exciting 17 percent increase in unit sales for walnuts following an expanded, unified retail marketing campaign after American Heart Month back in February.
“We are thrilled with the results of our 2019 American Heart Month campaign, which builds upon the success of the 2018 program results. We credit our exceptional retail partners who played such an integral role in this year’s program,” said Michelle Connelly, Executive Director. “Looking ahead to 2020, we plan to build on the program’s momentum by expanding nationally, in what will be the largest retail program to date for California Walnuts during American Heart Month.”
Several retailers also chose to implement the program beyond the target markets and supported California walnuts chain-wide. These included Food Lion, Safeway NorCal, Save Mart, Sprouts, and Raley’s.
As a direct result of the program, walnut brands who participated saw unit sales increases between 110 to 1,080 percent.
According to a press release, retail programs that have been focused on promoting the heart health benefits of walnuts targeted three key markets, such as Sacramento, CA; Denver, CO; and Richmond, VA. The California Walnut Board noted the following highlights within those key markets:
- Sacramento: Compared to February 2018, walnut unit sales were up 95 percent at Raley’s, 12 percent at Safeway, and 11 percent at Save Mart. The success of the program resulted in a participating walnut brand securing year-round distribution in Safeway’s produce department, as opposed to only seasonal sales.
- Denver: Walnut unit sales were up nearly 17 percent at Safeway, with a participating walnut brand seeing a 110 percent lift in unit sales, compared to February 2018.
- Richmond: A three-week walnut promotion at Food Lion drove significant dollar and unit sales increases for the entire store across the full five-week period measured. Walnut unit sales at Food Lion were up 32 percent and a leading walnut brand saw an impressive 1,039 percent lift in unit sales compared to last February. Given these program results surpassed sales achieved in the busy December timeframe, this brand secured year-round distribution in Food Lion’s produce department.
In addition to the above partners, Mollie Stone’s, Price Chopper, Redner’s Markets, Tom Thumb, Jewel Osco, Albertsons, and Pavilions also participated in Heart Month programs.
The success of these retail programs was driven by several points, such as a variety of in-store tactics (point-of-purchase displays, display contests, audio ads, shelf signage, and more), advertising in-market, and integrated activities with retail dietitians. This included educational in-store demos and Facebook Live videos under the Albertsons banner, as well as e-newsletters, blog posts, social content, and a shopper mailer with Price Chopper.
In 2018, starting with two test markets in Charlotte and Minneapolis, California Walnuts initiated a fully mixed marketing campaign around American Heart Month. The program expanded to Sacramento, Denver, and Richmond, this year, with plans to expand the program nationally in 2020. Certified through the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check program, walnuts are a heart-healthy food that is unique as one of the only nuts significantly high in essential omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams/ounce).
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