Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo Recap

California Walnuts
Nov 26, 2018
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In October, the California Walnut Commission (CWC) joined 11,000 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), nutrition science researchers, policy makers, industry leaders, influencers, and the media at the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) – the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts. This group is an important segment because our consumer target audience trusts and listens to them. We see RDNs as a way to educate and motivate them to eat more walnuts. The CWC used the Expo as an opportunity to tell the walnut story of “Head, Heart, Happiness” – three reasons to love walnuts. Booth visitors were educated on the brain and heart health benefits of walnuts as well as the happiness that can come from enjoying nourishing foods, like walnuts.

The team engaged RDNs by playing a version of the Heads Up! game featuring words/phrases related to walnuts and brain health. The game is similar to word charades, where participants must guess which word the other participants are describing. Booth visitors also had the opportunity to send “Happy Grams” via email to their RDN colleagues as a way to spread happiness. These included nutrition-related messages like “Do nut underestimate yourself” and “Keep up the good fats!” Giveaways at the booth included various educational resources as well as bento boxes and a pack of “Mindful Mix” trail mix that included a “Head, Heart, Happiness” logo. The booth also included a display case of new walnut products including walnut milk, walnut butters, spiced walnuts, walnut trail mix, and individual packs of walnuts. Over the course of three days, the CWC collected contact information from 3,000 people visiting the booth, a record compared to year’s past, and they were added to the CWC’s communications list.

California Walnuts also joined forces with the Hass Avocado Board and Seafood Nutrition Partnership to host a #TeamGoodFat Instagram Sweepstakes during FNCE to continue the momentum of the Team Good Fat campaign, which started in early 2018. The goal was to increase awareness and excitement about good-fat foods among RDNs as well as health professionals and consumer fans online. The sweepstakes and general social promotions during FNCE garnered 704,296 impressions (up 8.5% YoY), 4,090 Instagram Story video views (up 310% YoY), and 393 sweepstakes entries (more entries received after contest ended).

Representatives from the CWC also met with a number of contacts, from RDNs that work in media or for supermarkets, and more. Media outlets that were represented by these contacts included, NBC News, US News and World Report, Women’s Health, Greatist, Reader’s Digest, Shape, Food Network, Men’s Health, Self, Women’s Day, and PopSugar. Additionally, the team met with individuals from the USDA, Produce for Better Health, and Sun Basket meal delivery service, as well as RDNs from ALDI, ShopRite, and Weis Markets.


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