Canada's Apex to help grow US peanut business abroad

TORONTO: The American Peanut Council has chosen Apex PR as its

agency of record in Canada to promote its product to the export

market.



Fleishman-Hillard was the council's former agency of record in that

country, and the account is worth $500,000 per fiscal year.

Canada is one of the largest importers of American peanuts in the

world.



The council does not retain any agencies in the US, focusing instead on

the exporting markets, including Mexico, the UK and Germany. A primary

initiative for the council is protecting foreign markets for American

peanuts against competitors in other countries.



There is no shortage of issues about peanuts for Apex to tackle. "Our

main focus is on the health message, getting the good news out about

peanuts," said Diane Coates, the council's director of international

programs. "They are high in protein, have zero cholesterol and are a

source of 'good' fat."



Coates said that recent studies reported peanuts had a high degree of

"satiety," meaning that when people eat them they feel fuller for longer

and go on to eat less during the course of the day.



Peanut allergies is another topic that has been extensively covered in

the media. "One challenge is the high awareness of peanut allergies,"

said Pat MacNamara, president of Apex. "We have to make sure people are

properly educated and that the perceptions match reality."



An AP story in May described how health and nutrition concerns about

peanuts had caused sales to decline since 1989.



MacNamara said Apex will target dieticians, health professionals and

consumers. PR tactics will include newsletters, recipe creation, even

programming and media relations.



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