The Almond Board of California (ABC) has been strategically navigating the Indian market to promote almond consumption since the early 2000’s. Over the last decade, ABC has extended its reach, targeting various segments of the population and maximizing the health attributes of almonds in the region. In 2020, India was the number one export market for California almonds – more than doubling over a five-year period and exceeding 40 million pounds – and proved the potential of the market. This Fall, ABC took those efforts even further by leveraging the region’s most popular sport, Cricket, and engraining almonds even further among old traditions.
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Riding the Cricket Wave
The sport of cricket is not just a pastime in India but a cultural phenomenon that unites the entire nation. Cricket is the number one sport in India and while I may call it a sport, that’s really cutting a short. It is more like a religion,” said Mazumdar. As the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup – hosted in India for the first time since 2011 – loomed on the horizon, ABC saw an opportunity to integrate almonds with the popularity of the sport. The “energy leading to success” message naturally aligned with the sport’s enthusiasm and energy.
ABC outdoor advertising campaigns were prominent in major cities like Mumbai and Delhi, where not only cricket fervor runs high, but so does international trade. Television campaigns promoting almonds as a source of energy and success around the game of cricket were also launched. “The television campaign is running all across the country, which again is talking about energy leading to success. It’s definitely a different target us, but it’s also another way in which we are driving almond consumption,” Mazumdar said. ABC’s presence in the cricket world is poised to create a new wave of almond enthusiasts across the country.
The Gift of Good Health
Diwali, a prominent Indian festival, involves exchanging dry food boxes as gifts to wish loved one’s good health and prosperity. Almonds have found a special place in these festive gift boxes. ABC’s television campaigns over the last few years have reinforced almonds as a symbol of well-being during Diwali, securing the time-honored tradition that happens in the fall every year.
To drive the gifting of almonds even more, ABC also expanded its presence this year during Raksha Bandhan, a festival where brothers promise to protect their sisters in return for a heartfelt wish. “In turn, the brother promises to protect the sister against all evil, and because of his appreciation of her wishes, he hands over a gift to her,” explained Sudarshan Mazumdar, ABC’s India market consultant.
ABC launched a campaign to encourage using almonds as that gift during Raksha Bandhan. “What we’re trying to do is to make this a gift of good health. For the first time this year, we ran a campaign for 15 days and we started seeing interest in it right away,” Mazumdar said.
Weddings are also a grand affair in India, marked by numerous events and ceremonies. Invitations are an integral part of the wedding experience. ABC recognized the opportunity to include almonds in wedding invitation packages, making almonds a part of the celebration.
ABC has partnered with wedding magazines to explore the link between almonds and weddings. Additionally, they have adopted a strategy to display Google Ads when users search for wedding-related content. These initiatives aim to increase the gifting of almonds, making them a significant part of wedding celebrations in India.