“Jason’s impact on our company is substantial. He has managed to tell our story and forge connections that have produced excellent exposure and direct sales. Our customers have a new and improved respect for what we are doing. Prospective customers are easily willing to listen to our pitch when they find out where our story is being told. And sales of our new Buffalo Peanuts are growing. We are getting calls from all over the country and Canada. Jason is extremely attentive to detail. His guidance in helping us do our part in this public relations effort has been invaluable.”
Daniel Levy, founder and president Nuts are Good / Fresh Roasted Almond Company (www.nutsaregood.com)
Nuts are Good is an independently owned roasting company that uses old-world methods to manufacture unique varieties of flavored nuts. In 1988, brothers Johnny and Danny Levy opened the company as the Fresh Roasted Almond Company. In 2007 it introduced a wildly popular new product, the “Buffalo Peanut,” which came to constitute 30 percent of the company’s total sales and jump-started its expansion into peanut production. Now a major, national wholesaler, the company offers a dozen flavors of fresh-roasted nuts and several other related products.
Jonny and Danny had the potential to become a powerhouse in the category of flavored nuts but were relatively unknown prior to contacting SCM. Their products and company had limited consumer awareness and demand, untapped distribution potential and other unrealized opportunities. The most compelling aspects of their story needed to be created and told to the right audiences to stimulate new distribution partners and sales, and provoke overall interest in the company.
SHERMAN communications and marketing immediately developed a strategic marketing communications and public relations plan to help Nuts are Good embark on a national media relations campaign. The plan outlined a brand identity, key messages, objectives, story ideas, and a comprehensive list of strategies and tactics to address building partnerships, new products, graphics/packaging, promotions and media opportunities.
The work that followed included:
- Understanding the Levys’ business: the challenges they faced due to the growing cost of raw materials, their expertise in nutrition, and the growth trajectory they envisioned for Nuts are Good.
- Developing a fact sheet on Nuts are Good’s history, manufacturing methods, unique flavors, and the products’ health benefits.
- Improving branding by introducing new packaging, working with graphic designers, and adding a newsroom and professionally taken photos to the website.
- Enlisting (at no cost) the advice and services of a nationally recognized food industry analyst as an objective industry expert for media interviews (at no cost), to give his opinion about Nuts are Good’s natural and healthy roasting methods, and the growth and marketing potential of nut snacks in media interviews.
- Arming the brothers with the media training they needed to effectively communicate their compelling story of hard work and passion to the appropriate media outlets.
- Saturating the Detroit market with an aggressive public relations campaign, and then targeting national business, consumer and trade publications.
- Approaching reporters and editors with stories highlighting Nuts are Good’s rise as a growing small business finding its niche in the industry.
- Securing positive coverage about the brothers’ challenges and accomplishments as small business owners with the capacity to become national wholesalers/players.
- Secured positive coverage in a wide variety of print and broadcast media, including:
- A half-page story in the Marketplace section of the Wall Street Journal – Almond Business Expands Its Identity To Kick-Start Growth Revenue Shoots Up Thanks to Move To Popular Peanuts;
- CNBC’s “American Dream,” where Wall Street Journal Reporter Gwendolyn Bounds explained how the Levy brothers doubled their business by having the courage to move to peanut production after the price of almonds skyrocketed;
- Two segments on FOX News, where the brothers were once featured on “Made in Michigan” and gave a cooking demonstration on Christmas morning;
- A six-page cover story in the Detroit Jewish News that generated unprecedented local business;
- A full-page piece with photo in Entrepreneur magazine; and
- Feature stories in several local and national publications, including: Crain’s Detroit Business, Detroit News, Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, the Detroit Jewish News, GMA/FPA SMARTBRIEF, Grand Rapids Press, Nightclub and Bar Magazine, Fiery Foods and BBQ, THE NIBBLE Product Review, Snackfood and Wholesale Bakery Magazine, and Taquitos Product Review.
- Helped to forge a strategic partnership with Gourmetceuticals to create and distribute a brand-new, private-label product – a functional food / nutraceutically enhanced organic granola.
- Overall, established high consumer awareness of the product, company and their credibility in the food industry, increased distribution, and increased sales 30 percent during the public relations campaign.