As Wonderful Pistachio today is announcing a US $55 million campaign to celebrate the largest pistachio crop in history. Portada talks to Adam Cooper, VP Marketing for Wonderful citrus, pistachios and almonds, the Los Angeles-based company which has more than US$ 4 billion in annual sales.
Portada: What is the main challenge you find as a marketer for Wonderful Pistachios?
A.C: “We revolutionized the category by working with retailers to uniquely position Wonderful Pistachios in the produce aisle instead of the snack aisle. The strategic placement of Wonderful Pistachios next to produce makes it easy for consumers to see our product as a healthy food rather than a traditional salty snack found in the junk food aisle alongside chips. In regards to the future, this crop year will be our largest ever! The industry is harvesting a record-setting 800 million pounds of pistachios this season, so it’s time to go big or go home! It’s only natural we go big in every way—a big new “Get Crackin’” campaign, with our biggest star, Ernie the Elephant. People love snacking—in fact, snacking makes up half of all eating occasions in America—so our goal is to make healthy Wonderful Pistachios even more accessible to everyone. Ernie will help drive awareness and remind pistachio fans to “Get Crackin’” every day and on every snack occasion.”
Portada: We understand you buy media in-house with the wonderful agency. Is that right? if so, what is the media mix (including influencers etc,) for Pistachios marketing?
A.C: “That is correct. We work with our own in-house team at the Wonderful Agency. Wonderful Pistachios is widely known for its iconic advertising campaign “Get Crackin’,” which demonstrates how every character cracks open a pistachio in their own unique way. We capitalized on strategic advertising with the “Get Crackin’” campaign with commercial spots that amplified the fun and irreverent character of the brand in traditional and non-traditional media. The “Get Crackin’” TV personalities have inspired chatter around the water cooler—and the pistachio bowl. As we approach our next crop year, we look forward to debuting another memorable campaign that reaches our target consumer on multiple platforms through advertising, digital, public relations and sales. We plan to execute strategically integrated marketing initiatives year-round to connect consumers with pistachios and generate demand.”
We revolutionized the category by working with retailers to uniquely position Wonderful Pistachios in the produce aisle instead of the snack aisle.
Portada: When marketing specifically to the Hispanic population is there anything particular, vs general market campaigns, you take into account in terms of the marketing mix and media mix?
A.C: “Our outreach to the Hispanic population is based on leveraging key consumer passion points, including food and sports, specifically soccer. We also work on crafting authentic messaging that is delivered through relatable sources, such as third party experts. Additionally, we are fortunate enough to have a product that lends itself to communicating positive messages. In the last year, we have worked closely with Laura Posada, certified motivational speaker and TV personality, on a campaign promoting smart-snacking options and motivating the consumer to adapt an active lifestyle. We are looking forward to continuing this relationship through the upcoming crop year. Furthermore, we leveraged all the excitement the country had surrounding soccer this past summer by partnering with Jared Borgetti for a retail activation, all while promoting pistachios as the ideal snack to consume while watching the tournament at home.”
Portada: How do you leverage the Wonderful umbrella brand when marketing each of the specific products?
A.C: “The Wonderful Company is a vertically integrated company. This is clearly an advantage because it gives a clear lens across all of our different products, including Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, POM Wonderful and Wonderful Almonds. These are natural products and consumers are starting to associate our brands within this sector. No matter the brand, our variety of products really complement each other at the retail level.Additionally, premium nuts like Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds are driving the majority of snack nut growth, and its clear consumers want healthier options, whether snacking at home or on the road. To capitalize on this demand, we are always looking to cater our SKUs to the health-conscious consumer and increase retail distribution to ensure Wonderful products are the first choice for consumers looking for healthy and delicious snack option. According to food culture consultant The Hartman Group, snacking has steadily increased, and now 50 percent of all eating occasions are snacking. Given that 61 percent of consumers are looking for healthier snacks, there is tremendous growth opportunity for a healthy snack like Wonderful Pistachios. In addition, 71 percent of adults snack at work, with snack nuts being the #2 most often brought snack from home so we are capitalizing on these consumer insights through our strategic marketing campaigns. Recently, the Nielsen Harris Poll EquiTrend Study examined shopping habits for millennials, Generation X’ers, and Boomers finding that Wonderful Pistachios were in the Top 10 with millennials and boomers, and recognized by consumers as “on the way up.” Wonderful Pistachios brand is the only salty snack brand listed on any Top 10 list.”
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Portada: Retail/Shopper Marketing what are your activities specific to this area of marketing?
A.C: “At the retail level we focus on key consumption occasions throughout the year and introduce new bin creative connected to these. Something that is unique to us is the fact that we have a strong footprint within the produce section of the retailer and this is an area which is not heavily branded within the grocery store. We also leverage Hispanic specific creative at targeted retailers in order to be more relevant to the consumer.”
Portada: Does Wonderful have owned content marketing properties if so which ones are they?
A.C: “We have online portals for all of our brands. These portals provide consumers with basic product information including nutritional attributes as well as content of interest to consumers. We also engage with consumers through our social media channels which include Facebook pages, Twitter handles and Instagram accounts.
For Wonderful Pistachios specifically:
Twitter & Instagram: @GetCrackin”
Portada: What role do Influencers play in your marketing and how do you work with them?
A.C:” Influencers play an important role in our 360 degree marketing strategy. We work with various influencers in general market as well as in the Hispanic market. Our partnership with Laura Posada is a perfect example of how the right influencer can complement a brand and amplify our key messages to a targeted audience. They help us create social buzz for the brand, develop their own pistachios-inspired moments, including recipes and pairings for consumers to try at home.”
Adam Cooper is Vice President of Marketing & Insights at The Wonderful Company, a privately held us$4 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world through its iconic consumer brands, such as Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, POM Wonderful and FIJI Water. Adam began his career at Wonderful in 2011. He spearheaded the rebranding of the company to The Wonderful Company in 2015. He has also run marketing for Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds and Wonderful Citrus business units since 2015. Adam has a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He lives in Culver City, CA with his wife, Hollie, and their two children. In his spare time, Adam enjoys spending time with the family, playing tennis and soccer, and traveling.
The Wonderful Company LLC, formerly known as Roll Global, is a private corporation based in Los Angeles, California. With revenues of over $2 billion, it functions as a holding company for Stewart and Lynda Resnick, and as such is a vehicle for their personal investments in a number of businesses. The company currently counts as business divisions the following brands: flower delivery service Teleflora, juice company POM Wonderful, bottled water company FIJI Water, Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Almonds (formerly Paramount Farms), Wonderful Citrus (formerly Paramount Citrus), sea freight company Neptune Pacific Line, JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, pest control company Suterra, and in-house marketing agency Wonderful Agency (formerly Fire Station).