Wonderful Pistachios tries to crack open Hispanic market

The organization has named Havas Formulatin as its first Hispanic PR AOR.

NEW YORK: Wonderful Pistachios has selected Havas Formulatin as its first Hispanic PR AOR, following a competitive review, as it moves to more aggressively target the market segment in the US.

The California-based pistachio and almond grower and processor brought on Havas Formulatin last month, following a two-month RFP process comprised of two rounds. The firm is the Hispanic division of Havas Formula.

Havas Formula president Michael Olguin told PRWeek that the pitch was "competitive," but did not provide the names of competing firms. The contract is annual.

A representative from Wonderful Pistachios was not available for comment.

The firm is planning to launch a multifaceted program to improve awareness of Wonderful Pistachios and its penetration among Hispanic consumers ages 18 to 65. The program will include an "aggressive" media relations campaign, community events, and consumer and influencer engagement. Wonderful Pistachios’ in-house team is handling social media.

"We are communicating that pistachios are a really nutritious and healthy snacking option for the Hispanic consumer," said Olguin.

Havas Formulatin is also building a "robust" influencer program to get the word out to the Hispanic market about Wonderful Pistachios’ products.

"We will be [tapping into] third parties out there – social influencers, nutritionists, dieticians -  utilizing those lifestyle experts who can help tell our story and give the concrete credibility we need in the marketplace," said Olguin.

Work with the influencers will start in January, as Olguin explained that is when "most people are talking about nutrition and getting healthier."

Holidays such as American Heart Month and National Nutrition Month will also be leveraged by the firm to create buzz and ownership for the brand.

"2016 is also a big soccer year," Olguin added. "The passion point in terms of sports and how soccer relates to that target is a prominent play, so that is a big priority for us given that next year is an Olympic year and the Mexican team is the reigning champion."

Asked why Wonderful Pistachios decided to hire its first Hispanic PR AOR recently, Olguin explained that the brand is recognizing the "growth, priority, and opportunity" particularly attached to that demographic.

"They have excellent distribution in the Hispanic marketplace from grocery stores and Hispanic retailers, and realized that a lot of the marketplace concentration is in key Hispanic markets such as Texas, Southern California, and Chicago," he said.

Olguin added that, up to this point, Wonderful Pistachios has grown organically in the Hispanic market, "without putting any energy behind it." So Havas Formulatin has been brought on to help "increase velocity."

The agency’s New York office is leading account work with Havas Formulatin director Andy Checo and VP Maria Amor at the helm. Five staffers are working on the account.

Budget information was not disclosed.

Havas Formulatin, which launched in 2008, works with clients such as Nestle, the Ecuador Ministry of Tourism, el Jimador and Herradura tequila, and Mi Pueblo Food.

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