Marvel Studios’ Thor has Love and Thunder for California Almonds
California Almonds partnered with Marvel Studios in this summer’s blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder. Emily Fleischmann, vice president of global market development at the Almond Board of California, told The Produce News about the unique partnership and elevation of California Almonds through their organic synergy.
Marvel Studios introduced the idea of a partnership around the new movie. “One of the Marvel team members had seen our Do You Almond campaign that we had been running last year in the U.K., and reached out to see if we would be interested in a partnership for Thor,” Fleischmann said. She explained that the U.K. campaign had a very irreverent style and sense of humor to it, characteristics ascribed to Marvel’s previous edition Thor: Ragnarok. “I think Marvel saw a lot of alignment in us,” said Fleischmann.
The Modesto-based Almond Board of California functions as a federal marketing order, being charged by its more than 7,000 growers and 100 handler-shippers, to create, develop and grow the global market for California Almonds –– garnering a partnership with Marvel Studios certainly checks that box.
“We were flattered to be approached by Marvel, and in doing our homework on the story recognized a lot of equity-alignment with Thor’s storyline,” said Fleischmann. The last time we saw Thor chronologically in the Marvel cinematic universe was in Avenger’s Endgame, where the Asgardian god of thunder known for his bravado and chiseled physique, was on the outs with the Avengers, himself depressed and his physique looking more dad-bod than god-bod.
“This movie is about Thor’s journey to self-discovery, a theme that aligns really well with California Almonds' U.S. campaign, Your Friend in Wellness,” said Fleischmann. “We wanted to capture consumer attention with the message and story of Thor, and elevate our message to a broader audience.”
California Almonds worked with Marvel Studios on a collaboration between the two brands. The Weapons in Wellness campaign features Thor’s infamous hammer and an exuberant anthropomorphic almond, who “keeps jumping in to remind viewers that almonds can be a weapon in wellness in your everyday hero journey,” said Fleischmann.
The global campaign spanned across the United States, U.K., Mexico, Italy and India. The U.S. campaign ran on all major social platforms, broadcast television like MTV and Comedy Central, and streaming services. Fleischmann said, “We’re getting a lot of really positive reception, both from the consumers and in our own industry –– consumers are excited by the connection to Marvel Studios and Thor, and the industry itself is excited that the Almond Board is taking our marketing to this level.” Noting that the Marvel partnership has opened new doors with other dynamic brands, Fleischmann said, “since our launch we’ve gotten a lot of interest from different potential partners.”
Fleischmann believes California Almonds are primed for steady growth in the healthy snacking and plant-based foods sector. She said, “the area of snacking isn’t slowing down, healthy snacking certainly got a bump during the pandemic, but when you look at the global snack market, projections estimate the snacking category to hit the $700 billion mark by 2026.” Similarly, growth trends for almonds within the plant-based food category are strong, with a 12 percent growth projection by 2028. Fleischmann added, “California Almonds fit perfectly in with plant-based foods, being that they are nutrient dense, packed with the protein and fiber.”
Fleischmann and the Almond Board of California had nothing but praise for the collaboration with Marvel: “It was an amazing partnership between the two organizations –– we came away with a greater appreciation for the Marvel cinematic universe, and I hope they’re eating more almonds!”
The Almond Board of California is excited for harvest, starting now and running through mid-October. This year’s projections are estimated to weigh in at 2.6 billion pounds, slightly under last year’s mark. The drop is associated with a late-season frost in the north and the challenge of navigating water restrictions in the state.
California Almonds encourages moviegoers to grab some California Almonds and catch Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters.