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Asian Stars Selling California Nuts

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 28, 2011

The Almond Board of California has hired Bollywood actress Karisma Kapoor to promote the nuts in India. She's appearing in television spots aimed at convincing Indians to eat almonds as a healthy snack.

Becky Sereno: "International markets are very important to the California almonds industry for a variety of reasons…

Becky Sereno with the Almond Board says the number one reason is to increase consumer demand. And it's working. U.S. agricultural exports hit an all-time high of nearly $116 billion last year.

China was the largest market. To grab more of that market, the Almond Board has hired Chinese movie star Gao Yuan Yuan as its official ambassador.

Sereno says there's more interest in healthy eating among Asia's growing middle class.

"The healthy snacking platform that we're promoting is resonating with their changing lifestyles."

But the Almond Board still has to overcome cultural hurdles. In India, there is no tradition of snacking.

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