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- Despite the driest year in California history and a Delta smelt courtroom decision, the pistachio industry is eyeing a billion-pound crop expected to be in place by 2020.
Super Bowl, Dr. Oz
A two-part Super Bowl commercial for Wonderful pistachios by the Comedy Channel’s Stephen Colbert drew considerable attention to the product, speakers said. And on a more serious note, touting of the health value of pistachios by Dr. Mehmet Oz on his television show has also been a boon to the industry.
Both of those developments were spawned by Paramount players, including nutritionist Maggie Moon, senior communications manager, who talked of the funding of a Harvard study that showed a daily serving of pistachios may help you live longer.
Moon talked of outreach to “health influencers” such as Dr. Oz and Hungry Girl, a best-selling author on healthy eating.
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Mark Seguin, vice president for domestic marketing, talked of the creation of a buzz about the Super Bowl commercials before the event and promotion of Wonderful pistachios at the Super Bowl site with everything from billboards to signs in 7,000 taxi cabs, along with the use of social media.
Seguin said some $200 million has been spent in the five years of the Get Crackin’ campaign to call attention to the brand. More television ads featuring Colbert are in the works and three begin airing in March.
In a brief video, Colbert said to growers, “You keep pickin’ that nut and I’ll keep pushin’ that nut.”
Resnick said he prides himself on the fact that the company does not contract out for services of people who include Moon and Seguin: “They’re full time employees who don’t have a conflict on what they’re going to focus on; it’s all about pistachios.”
The company has also spent considerable time and money in community outreach and education efforts, which was discussed by Lynda Resnick, vice chairman and co-owner of Roll Global and wife of Stewart Resnick.
Much of that philanthropy has focused on the small town of Lost Hills in Kern County, home to a significant population of people who work for Paramount. But efforts and funding have gone well beyond that location and projects that have addressed the well-being of employees elsewhere in the San Joaquin Valley.
Among the latest efforts is planned creation of model programs at four sites: McFarland, Sanger and Avenal high schools and Paramount Academy in Delano. Students in those programs can graduate with associate college degrees and get paid apprenticeships with Paramount.
Lynda Resnick talked of outreach programs for parents as well.
“Our children in the Central Valley deserve a better chance,” she said.