The Almond Board of California (ABC) has been targeting dietitians and nurse practitioners in the U.S. for the past few years, based on research showing these were the two groups of health professionals most likely to provide dietary advice to consumers.
But with almonds being widely recognized as a nutritious choice and consumers getting health information from an increasingly broad range of sources, ABC took the opportunity to reassess the best approach for impacting consumer behavior
through key health influencers.
ABC fielded an in-depth quantitative study with 1,500 food- and health-involved men and women to ask the following question: Beyond traditional health professionals, who most influences you to choose smart snacks? Results showed that people who are informational (e.g., with an advanced degree) and relatable (having been through a similar experience) have more influence
on the target than those who are aspirational (e.g., an Olympic athlete).
Study responses showed that throughout the snacking decision
process, different influencers can have an impact. For initial, general sources of credible information, our target goes to online sources — specifically medical websites — as well as the local supermarket’s resources. The younger end of our target also looks
to fitness experts and trainers as credible first-line sources of snacking advice. But if they have a specific medical concern or condition, they consult a doctor or dietitian.
As a result of this research, ABC is now exploring ways to strengthen its relationships with supermarket dietitians and consumer advisers, fitness experts and medical websites, and does not plan to conduct outreach to nurse practitioners in the coming year.