In 2012, a spate of advertisements, Indian in scope and American at heart, made the rounds on TV. These 30-second-to-one-minute spots starred kids acing quiz, swimming, athletics, football, and badminton competitions, a bride bidding a tearful goodbye to her mother, and a man sitting in a bright, spacious cabin, indicating professional achievement. This 2012 campaign for California almonds, reminiscent of Bournvita and Cadbury’s commercials that also hinged on wunderkinds and ‘precious moments’, respectively, was average unto itself. And yet, the product at the heart of this campaign has become a marketing exemplar. Until 2012, no horticultural crop, however entrenched in Indian culinary or customary tradition, had received such media planning attention.
India has gone nuts over California almonds
India is on its way to becoming the world’s largest importer of American almonds. Iranian, Afghan, even Kashmiri, flavours have quickly lost favour with the Indian market
California, US, produces 80% of the world's almonds and accounts for 82% of imported almonds in India. A specific, high-yield cultivar called Nonpareil has outclassed other varieties, particularly in Asia
India's cultural affinity for the almond is rich fodder for The Almond Board of California (ABC), which sponsors 'nutrition research projects' and conducts extensive campaigns projecting California almonds as health food
Higher spending power and inclination for high-protein foods and healthy snacking is leading to burgeoning demand for almonds. Jammu & Kashmir, India's only almond-growing region, is struggling to keep up
Iran and its neighbours, home to the almond, now account for just about 1% of global almond production. And in the Kashmir Valley, the rigours of almond production are forcing farmers to switch to apples