California Walnuts review the highlights and look ahead to 2019

The campaign for California Walnuts in the UK is approaching the end of its second year. Recent highlights over the past few months include retail promotions with Tesco, and a bakery industry event in Devon with Bako Western. A few weeks ago, at the end of November saw California Walnuts return to the popular Food Matters Live show at London ExCeL.

A key part of the California Walnut communications activity involves supporting health research into walnuts’ contribution to disease prevention and maintenance. 2018 saw California Walnuts enter a high profile and mutually beneficial link-up with HEART UK – The Cholesterol Charity. And in October in London California Walnuts hosted Britain’s first-ever scientific and health research meeting specifically focusing on the health and nutritional benefits of walnuts.

California Walnuts continue to feature in Tesco

California Walnuts ran a nationwide promotion with Tesco in September and October, promoting 200g Tesco-branded bags of California Walnuts in 400 Tesco superstores and online. Further promotional activity is taking place from the second week of December into the New Year. Tesco.com will carry promotional banners for California Walnuts and a promotional shelf talker will be live in store, featuring California Walnuts Christmas themed recipes. Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘talking shelves’ and the festive recipe ideas.

The two recipes featured in-store at Tesco can be viewed here:

Smoky California Walnut Parsnip Pear Soup

Honey and California Walnut Christmas Biscuits (Also referred to as ‘Honey and California Walnut Elf Cookies’)

Further trade activity with other retailers is planned for 2019. 

Sampling California Walnuts at Food Matters Live

Following California Walnuts’ successful presence at Food Matters Live last year, the organisation returned to the show at ExCeL in London from November 20-22.

Food Matters Live hosts one of the largest gatherings of ingredient companies in the UK with over 800 organisations exhibiting with some 400 expert speakers from across the food and drink industry. The key objective for exhibiting was to highlight to the trade how California Walnuts can offer an excellent balance of attributes – great taste, smooth and creamy, ideal for flavouring and texture profiles, always high quality and all-year availability.

Through exhibiting California Walnuts aim to show versatility, highlight their superior taste & texture and from product sampling seek to encourage walnut trade buyers to specify California. Over the 3 days 120 new contacts were established, one third of these were either business owners or company directors.

Nick Richardson from The Garden Marketing & PR, the trade representative for California Walnuts in the UK, says:

“The exhibition was regarded as a success on a number of levels. With the CWC collaborating with new trade contacts involved with Bakery, Foodservice and Snacking. Notably, from the buyers who visited, the walnut enquiries were estimated at 950 MT per year. The California Walnut Commission continue to use key UK exhibitions to help keep California Walnuts in the mind of the trade buyers and in the eyes of consumers”.

For more details on the recent Food Matters Live event, read the full news story on https://californiawalnuts.uk/trade

Looking ahead to the 2018-19 crop

California Walnuts’ shipments to the UK, which are measured from 1st September to 31st August, concluded the year with a strong final month at 808,655 lbs, up 58% on 2017.

At the end of August the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in California released the annual crop estimate for California Walnuts. It is projected to be a record setting crop, which aligns with how California Walnuts intend to continue to increase the crop to meet growing consumer demand.

California Walnut Commission (CWC) Chairman Bill Carriere put the crop forecast into context:

“This year presents a unique set of challenges as a result of increased tariffs in three of our key markets, however we continue to see strong demand for California Walnuts both domestically and internationally. With California Walnuts’ exceptional quality and taste, our industry is confident that we will meet the growing global demand.”

To receive details on future California Walnut stories and trade initiatives, sign up for the UK newsletter via the ‘Trade Contact’ page on https://californiawalnuts.uk/trade.