To celebrate their 5-year partnership, in early 2017 Fisher nuts and Food Network Chef Alex Guarnaschelli announced the launch of #LiveUnshelled, a new social campaign. In addition to her work with Food Network and Fisher nuts, Chef Alex has worked for globally renowned chefs Guy Savoy and Daniel Boulud and currently is executive chef at Butter Restaurant in New York.

We took this opportunity to reach out to Howard Brandeisky, senior vice president, global marketing and customer solutions, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, owner of the Fisher nuts brand, to learn more about this relationship and other initiatives at JBSS.


Alex GuarnaschelliDouglas J. Peckenpaugh: What inspired the original collaboration with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli?

Howard Brandeisky: We’re extremely lucky to be working with such an amazing talent and personality who is so genuinely passionate about our brand. With a marketing goal of elevating the Fisher nuts brand and reaching our target audience, we wanted someone who could showcase our brand in a whole new light! In addition to her celebrity status in the culinary world as a Food Network Iron Chef, executive chef of her NYC restaurant and—perhaps most importantly—a mother, Chef Alex adds great energy, excitement and authenticity to our brand. She is constantly encouraging our consumers to innovate and try out new recipes. She believes in the brand and we believe in her.


DJP: How has the relationship between John B. Sanfilippo & Son and Chef Alex grown over the last five years?

HB: Chef Alex is constantly helping us come out of our shells. In addition to being a culinary expert and TV star, she is a social media maven who shares our messaging through her growing network of followers. In addition to the hundreds of recipes and culinary tips she’s created on behalf of the brand, she has really helped inspire more social media marketing through our Fisher nuts pages and integration across her own social platforms.


DJP: What is the “Live Life Unshelled” campaign?

HB: The Live Life Unshelled campaign was created around the notion that life would be pretty boring if everyone followed the same recipe. As a recipe nut brand, we really wanted to empower our consumers to come out of their shells—both in and outside of the kitchen. We also wanted to foster a community of sharing and encourage social conversation. Chef Alex kicked off the campaign with some inspiring social videos, and we’re encouraging our consumers to participate, as well, by uploading their own videos with hashtag, #LiveUnshelled.


DJP: What other approaches does John B. Sanfilippo & Son use to help engage today’s shoppers on the benefits of nuts?

HB: We are currently activating a cross-platform, integrated marketing campaign with content on TV and in national magazines, as well as through digital and social media. To help fulfill the need for an ongoing stream of content, the Fisher brand currently partners with 14 high-caliber food influencers, the Fisher Fresh Thinkers, to help share recipes featuring nuts throughout the year and help create buzz across social media. With ongoing partnerships with Damn Delicious, Skinnytaste, Iowa Girl Eats and Shugary Sweets, as well as several other top influencers in the food space, our network helps amplify our messaging and bring new life to our recipe nuts through creative and original content.


DJP: What was involved with the recent packaging updates for Fisher Nuts?

HB: We are constantly evolving our packaging to stay on-trend and increase “shoppability” with our consumers. Our most-recent packaging innovations feature new visual treatments, such as the incorporation of the Non-GMO Project Verified logo and recipes on the back panel of the stand-up, resealable bag.


DJP: Have you released any new Fisher Nuts products over the past year?

HB: On Fisher, our brand building efforts have been focused on building our relationship with consumers through new recipe tips and ideas. Most of our new product introductions have occurred on Orchard Valley Harvest, another brand in the John B. Sanfilippo & Son portfolio. Over the past year, Orchard Valley Harvest released new varieties of trail mixes and chocolate-covered fruits made with pure and simple ingredients. The entire Orchard Valley Harvest product line contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and is non-GMO verified. We’re excited to introduce a few additional Orchard Valley Harvest products this year, so it is definitely a brand to keep an eye on!