AUGUST 24, 2016--ATLANTA – Signaling a new strategy of targeting millennial consumers, the National Peanut Board unanimously approved the fiscal year 16 Program of Work at its quarterly Board meeting in Suffolk, Va., Aug. 10 – 13. In addition, the Board unanimously approved a budget of $10,465,000 for FY-16, which begins Nov. 1, 2015 and ends Oct. 31, 2016. Before implementation, USDA must approve the budget and Program of Work.
The FY-16 Program of Work focuses on consumer and trade engagement with an emphasis on digital and innovative communications that will target the millennial demographic, or consumers who are roughly 20 to 37 years of age, represent a size of about 80 million Americans and have an estimated spending power of $1.6 trillion.
The Program of Work falls in line with a decision announced in July to expand Golin’s responsibilities to include marketing, advertising and public relations, following a competitive review. Golin will assist the Board in implementing content creation, digital and traditional advertising, business development, earned and social media, events and reputation management for FY-16.
“We feel it’s crucial to tighten our target audience to include millennials so they can have the same relationship with peanuts that their parents and grandparents have,” said Bob Parker, president and CEO of National Peanut Board. “Market research shows this generation is bombarded with more choices and messages about snacking and nuts than older generations. Even though millennials are open to listening to messages about peanuts and peanut butter, there is not enough relevant messaging, delivered in the digital format millennials prefer, to inspire them to choose peanuts over other nuts.”
“Peanuts embody the qualities millennials value: authenticity, simplicity and originality,” said Ryan Lepicier, NPB’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. “We plan to break through with a focused and relevant campaign by creating a meaningful story and brand persona that fosters a passionate and emotional connection with peanuts.”
The FY-16 Program of Work includes a continued commitment to peanut allergy research, awareness and education. “Peanut producers don’t want anybody harmed by the crop they grow, so peanut allergy research and education remains a top priority for the next fiscal year,” said Bob White, chairman and Texas delegate to the Board. “We’ll accelerate our allergy initiatives further with a comprehensive program that connects with consumers, school administrators and health and nutrition experts to help make sure their decisions are based on sound science.” Since 2001, the Board has allocated more than $21 million in food allergy research, outreach and education.
Also, the meeting included a Grower Listening Session with an information exchange between the Virginia Peanut Growers Association, North Carolina Peanut Growers Association and National Peanut Board.
“This listening session and NPB’s mission of moving their meeting to different regions is important,” said Dell Cotton, executive director of the Virginia Peanut Growers Association. “First, growers fund the NPB and this gives the growers the opportunity to be a part of the process and understand the lengths that their member and alternate go through to act on the growers’ behalf. Secondly, the growers in each state, no matter how small the acreage may be, are important to the NPB. We were thrilled to host the Board in Virginia and we appreciate the research, educational, and promotion efforts undertaken by the Board for the benefit of all US growers.”