California almonds named number one nut

According to recent data from Innova Market Insights, California almonds were the number one nut used in new products worldwide in 2016, the tenth year that almonds have held the lead position for nuts used in new product introductions.

Innova Global New Products Report states that almonds were featured in 38% of new food introductions featuring nuts in 2016, a 5% increase from the previous year. The top five categories for worldwide almond product launches include: confectionery (23%), bakery (20%) and snacks (18%), as well as bars (12%) and cereal (9%), which together account for 82% of almond product introductions.

Furthermore, the report also notes that the dairy and dessert categories experienced growth in 2016. The dairy category, which includes almond milk, saw a 26% increase in almond introductions, and the desserts and ice cream category had an increase of 33% more almond products.

Emily Fleischmann, senior director, global marketing at the Almond Board of California, says, “Manufacturers have long been tasked with tackling innovation in new food products, as consumer demand continues to grow for products that are not only delicious, but are also nutritious and offer on the go convenience.

“Now, the market place is also looking for these products to align with the growing consumer desire for ‘clean’ products, while ensuring they are safe, sustainable and shelf stable. California almonds are an ideal tool for manufacturers looking to deliver on these attributes without sacrificing flavour, texture or nutrition.”

The Innova Market Insights report also highlights the top claims used on packaging of products with almonds, noting that “gluten-free” was the top claim used in new almond product introductions globally (23%).

The claims “no additives/preservatives” and “high/source of fibre” were tied for the second most used claim on almond product introductions globally, communicated on the packaging of 14% of almond products.

Almonds can now be labelled “healthy,” according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Lu Ann Williams, director of innovation, Innova Market Insights, says, “With the ever-increasing interest in clean label, healthful appeal and free from product claims, we are seeing almonds’ attributes more frequently named and noted on packaging.

“For example, we see a relatively high use of energy claims on almond products when compared to the general product category. In fact, over 19% of almond bars feature energy/alertness positioning, compared with less than 15% for the category as a whole.”

Regionally, almonds are the top nut for new product introductions in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, while Latin America saw the highest level of growth for almond introductions in 2016 (66%). Latin America’s almond product growth makes the country fourth overall by share, behind Europe which leads at 47%, Asia-Pacific (20%) and North America (19%).

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