Almond grower Blue Diamond names Access AOR

Almond processing and marketing company Blue Diamond Growers has selected Ketchum subsidiary Access Communications as the first AOR for all its brands.

SAN FRANCISCO: Almond processing and marketing company Blue Diamond Growers has selected Ketchum subsidiary Access Communications as the first AOR for all its brands, following an RFP.

The San Francisco-based agency won the review against several other shops, but Blue Diamond did not disclose the identities of the other firms in the RFP process.

Blue Diamond is a private company and does not disclose its financial results. Media reports have estimated that it has registered $3.3 billion in sales over a five-year period.

Access, with a team of 12 staffers working on the Blue Diamond account across its New York and San Francisco offices, was hired last month. The firm is working on all three parts of the company's business: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze almond milk, Nut-Thins gluten free crackers, and Snack Nuts.

For Almond Breeze, the agency is promoting almond milk as an alternative to dairy beverages because of its nutritional value, as well as its flavor, said Susan Butenhoff, CEO, president, and founder of Access.

“There's been this huge growth of almond milk. In fact, what people don't realize is that dairy alternative beverages are actually a $1.4 billion industry, and almond milk has grown by 80% this last year, and Almond Breeze is the leader in that,” she added.

Access is planning on appointing a brand ambassador for Almond Breeze to raise awareness of the products through social and traditional channels.

Blue Diamond's Snack Almond brand recently partnered with the US Ski and Snowboard Association and was named the official nut of the US Ski, Snowboarding, and Freeskiiing teams.

The agency will work with the brand before and during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games to give nutritional meals with almonds to athletes at the organization's training center, training camps, competitions, and its mobile kitchen in Europe.

For Nut-Thins, Access is planning to engage consumers who are living gluten-free lifestyles, as well as to promote the brand as a mainstream snack cracker.

In addition to traditional and social media efforts, Access will work on corporate and thought-leadership issues for the company, said Butenhoff.

The initial contract will run for one year. Budget information was not disclosed.

Butenhoff added that other agencies often think of Access as solely tech-focused, but “now tech is at the heart of what everybody does, so it's not segregated the way it used to be.”

Access works with consumer clients such as Peet's Coffee & Tea and Pernod Ricard, owner of Jameson Irish Whiskey, Absolut Vodka, and other spirits brands. 

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