A Peek into the Pecan Powerhouses Network - West Coast Nut

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A Peek into the Pecan Powerhouses Network

By American Pecan Council | Contributing Writer
Published: December 14, 2021 • 138 views


In our last article, we shared about the various marketing activations we’ve engaged in this past year to reach the eyes and minds of a crucial audience: health professionals and registered dieticians. These individuals educate and engage with consumers as experts in health, nutrition and wellness. They advise people on what to eat, so by reaching them, we can move the needle in the health food and wellness marketplace at large. We’ve engaged with this audience on multiple fronts, from developing useful nutrition resources to partnering with well-known and well-respected influencers and chefs amongst the health professional community. In this article, we will hone in on two of the most significant and rewarding activations to date, which have been ongoing efforts for the past two years now: The Pecan Powerhouses Network and our partnership with the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance (RDBA).

Pecan Powerhouses Network
The Pecan Powerhouses Network is an exclusive network the APC has developed, comprised of health and wellness leaders who receive first-hand access to innovative recipes, engaging educational resources and cutting-edge research, all highlighting the power of the Original Supernut. This group of credentialed health professionals (registered dietitian nutritionist, physician, nurse, fitness professional, etc.) and students in a health-related field (dietetic intern, medical student, etc.) chose to opt in and were vetted before receiving acceptance. They are enthusiastic about pecans and are keen on sharing their unique health benefits and culinary applications with their communities.

We launched the Pecan Powerhouses Network in 2020, and it has seen continued growth in 2021. This year alone, we recruited 332 new members through our activations engaging this audience, bringing total membership to over 600. We distributed four quarterly newsletters to all members to-date, with a 40.4% average open-rate and 6.5% average click-through rate, both above industry standards.

A huge win this year has been the launch of a quarterly webinar series as a way to regularly engage with and provide meaningful, educational content to our Pecan Powerhouse Members, despite the limitations of the pandemic. Through this series, we covered pecans’ tree-to-table story, which garnered 1,266 registrants over the four events, recruited 134 new Pecan Powerhouse Network members and reached 93k+ health professionals via targeted webinar promotions.

APC’s newly-introduced quarterly webinar series for 2021 covered pecans’ tree-to-table story (photo courtesy American Pecan Growers.)

The final webinar in the series, “Holistic Nutrition Strategies: A Threefold, Evidence-Based Approach to Immune Health,” which took place on September 22, 2021 and was led by the co-founder of the Culinary Nutrition Collaborative, Kristy Del Coro, was our most-successful webinar to-date. We track this success based off key metrics like registration & attendance as well as from post-webinar surveys we’ve conducted to gather feedback. Webinar registration has more than tripled since the inaugural event in January 2021, showing how far we’ve come in such little time. In our pre-webinar communications for the Q4 webinar, we reached 25.3k+ health professionals across four promotional channels and had 40% of our 702 registrants attend the live event.

The objective of this webinar was to discuss the key micronutrients for immune health, creative and convenient culinary pairings featuring immune-supporting ingredients, and evidence-based lifestyle habits to incorporate into their practice as a nutrition professional. Attendee Q&A focused on nutrient changes resulting from preparing pecans in recipe applications and specific benefits of the key micronutrients discussed. In our post-webinar survey distributed immediately following the webinar, 86% of respondents rated the webinar very good or excellent, 85% said they learned something new about key micronutrients for immune health, creative culinary pairings and evidence-based lifestyle habits, and 65% plan to incorporate all or most of the information they learned into their everyday practice. Additional attendee feedback demonstrated strong interest in recipe ideas and pecans’ application to a variety of health needs, which will help guide future content we distribute to the Pecan Powerhouses Network.

Retail Dietitians Business Alliance
The RDBA is a first-of-its kind professional group representing 2,400 retail dietitians throughout the U.S. and Canada. These professionals work for and/or consult to major supermarket retailers, helping customers and employees with food, culinary and nutrition topics. Our partnership with this key dietetic practice group was four-fold, including development of a sponsor page on their website, participation in Samplefest, a Snacking Trends Webinar and dedicated e-blasts to their membership.

Our Sponsor Page on RDBA’s website offered retail dietitians easy access to the APC’s health professional-facing resources and talking points about pecans taste, versatility, and nutrient makeup for convenient use in virtual and in-store activations.

Samplefest is an activation put on by RDBA that pairs insights and information on trending topics with product samples in one tailored bundle specifically for retail dietitians. As a sponsor, APC was able to place educational resources and pecan product in the hands of 227 retail dietitians representing 44 major grocery retailers. These resources included a bento box, double-sided educational handout and single-serving pecan pack.

RDBA’s engaging snacking trends webinar we were the sponsor of served to increase visibility of pecans and grew awareness of pecans’ nutritional attributes and culinary versatility. In the pre-webinar promotion, 6.4k+ health professionals were reached and 11 major retailers were represented among the attendees, which collectively encompass approximately 7.2k retail locations.
Lastly, two dedicated e-blasts sent out to the RDBA database served as successful promotional channels for the Pecan Powerhouses Network and our 2021 webinar series.

We made great inroads with the vital audience that is the health professional community in 2021. Looking forward to 2022, our topline objective will be to continue to increase consumption of, recommendation and positive sentiment for pecans among targeted health professionals. Building off the momentum of this past year, we will continue to grow the Pecan Powerhouses Network and build partnerships to position pecans’ heritage story as an interest hook and key differentiator, leverage pecans’ unique trifecta encompassing taste, satisfaction and nutritional value, and elevate the experience of pecans as the “foodie” nut for all.

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