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California Walnuts target retail opportunities for American Heart Month


FOLSOM, Calif., Feb. 13, 2024 – California Walnuts is kicking off a nationwide communications effort to help draw awareness to cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death globally[1], during American Heart Month.

An integrated approach that spans retail registered dietitian partnerships, digital ads, consumer communications, health professional outreach and influencer partnerships, among other tactics, will be featured to encourage consumers to choose walnuts throughout February and beyond.

Walnuts are certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check food certification program [2]. Since 1993, published research has been exploring how eating walnuts affects various factors related to heart health such as cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation and blood vessel function.

“California walnuts are a delicious addition to any meal – the perfect nutrient-dense food to promote in February during American Heart Month,” said Robert Verloop, CEO and executive director for the California Walnut Commission (CWC) and Board (CWB). “American Heart Month offers a promotional moment that drives walnut sales. In fact, 81% of consumers say the health benefits of walnuts positively impact their purchasing decisions.” [3]

Consumer directed communications will highlight the many ways to incorporate walnuts into heart-healthy dishes, featuring nationally recognized registered dietitian Samantha Cassetty. A partnership with Coborn’s, Inc. Dietitian Team will engage shoppers both in-store and online to inspire walnut purchases and drive sales, and additional content will be distributed to provide health professionals with evidence supporting the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts.

Retailers are encouraged to highlight walnuts’ heart-healthy benefits to their shoppers through in-store displays, digital media and feature ads, with more than 5,800 stores already signed on to participate. California Walnuts has also provided retail dietitians with resources and samples to support Heart Month activities.

For proven best practices to activate sales with walnuts and for a wide range of marketing resources, visit

About the California Walnut Board?
The California Walnut Board (CWB) was established in 1948 to represent the walnut growers and handlers of California.?The CWB is funded by mandatory assessments of the handlers. The CWB is governed by a Federal Walnut Marketing Order. The CWB promotes usage of walnuts in the United States through publicity and educational programs. The CWB also provides funding for walnut production, food safety and post-harvest research.

About Coborn’s, Inc.
St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s, Inc. is a 103-year-old employee-owned grocery retailer with nearly 10,000 employees and 77 grocery stores across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois under the Coborn’s, Cash Wise Foods, Marketplace Foods, Hornbacher’s, Tadych’s Marketplace Foods and Sullivan’s Foods banners. Coborn’s, Inc. also operates fuel, liquor, and pharmacy locations. To support its over 135 various retail business units, Coborn’s, Inc. operates its own central bakery, dry cleaning facility and grocery distribution center. In 2021, Coborn’s, Inc. was named the Shelby Report’s Midwest Retailer of the Year. In 2023, the company was recognized by Progressive Grocer Magazine as one of the Top 10 Regional Grocers in the U.S.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leading Causes of Death. Reviewed January 17, 2024. Accessed January 22, 2024.
  2. Heart-Check Certification does not apply to scientific research by an organization other than the American Heart Association, unless expressly stated.
  3. California Walnuts A&U Study, 2021
    *Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet and not resulting in increased caloric intake, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (FDA) One ounce of walnuts offers 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant-based omega-3.