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Almond Board study determines strongest influencers of health-related choices

For the past several years, the Almond Board of California has targeted dieticians and nurse practitioners in the United States with their health messaging, "based on research showing these were the two groups of health professionals most likely to provide dietary advice to consumers," according to an article in a recent edition of the board's newsletter, "Outlook."

However, a new in-depth quantitative study looked not at who was most likely to provide advice but whose advice consumers were most likely to find credible, the article stated.

"With almonds being widely recognized as a nutritious choice and consumers getting health information from an increasingly broad range of sources, ABC took the opportunity to reassess the best approach for impacting consumer behavior through key health influencers," the article stated.

"Study responses showed that throughout the snacking decision process, different influencers can have an impact. For initial, general sources of credible information, our target goes to online sources — specifically medical websites — as well as the local supermarket’s resources. The younger end of our target also looks to fitness experts and trainers as credible first-line sources of snacking advice." Only when they have a specific medical concern or condition do they consult a doctor or dietitian.

As a result of this research, the almond board "is now exploring ways to strengthen its relationships with supermarket dietitians and consumer advisers, fitness experts and medical websites," but does not plan to conduct outreach to nurse practitioners in the coming year," the article stated.