Almonds maintain their coveted position as the top nut in global new product introductions
According to new 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.
According to the Innova Global New Products Report, almonds were featured in 38 percent of new food introductions featuring nuts in 2016, a five percent increase from the previous year.1 Key categories for worldwide almond product launches include confectionery (23 percent), bakery (20 percent) and snacks (18 percent), as well as bars (12 percent) and cereal (nine percent), which together account for 82 percent of almond product introductions.1 In more than 15 forms including almond milk, butter and flour, almonds are one of the most versatile nuts and the nut that is most top-of-mind for global consumers.2
In the European market, Almonds’ momentum continues in this as its margin over hazelnuts increased in 2016, to maintain the #1 position. Europe continues to be the leading region for almond introductions, gaining +4 points from 2015-2016 for a share of 47%. This is larger than its share in global food introductions (45%).
In addition to the top five categories for almond product introductions, the dairy and dessert categories also saw exciting growth. The dairy category, which includes almond milk, saw a 26 percent increase in almond introductions, and the desserts and ice cream category had an increase of 33 percent more almond products in 2016.1
“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 onthe- go convenience,” said Emily Fleischmann, Senior Director, Global Marketing at the Almond Board of California. “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,” she continued. “California almonds are an ideal tool for manufacturers looking to deliver on these attributes without sacrificing flavor, texture or nutrition.”
The Innova Market Insights report also highlighted 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 percent).1 The claims “no additives/ preservatives” and “high/source of fiber” were tied for the second most used claim on almond product introductions globally, communicated on the packaging of 14 percent of almond products.1 And, in a nod to almonds’ trademark crunch, “crunchy” was used as a descriptor significantly more often in association with almond products.1
“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,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation, Innova Market Insights. “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 percent of almond bars feature energy/alertness positioning, compared with less than 15 percent 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 percent).1 Latin America’s almond product growth makes the country fourth overall by share, behind Europe which leads at 47 percent, Asia- Pacific (20 percent) and North America (19 percent).1
In addition to their unparalleled versatility, almonds’ nutritional profile makes them a particularly appealing ingredient that can help manufacturers deliver on consumer demands for healthful food products. Almonds can now be labeled “healthy,” according to the Food and Drug Administration, and when compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in six essential nutrients: protein (6g), fiber (4g), calcium (75mg), vitamin E (7.4mg), riboflavin (0.3mg), and niacin (1mg).
* Key No. 91676
1. Innova Market Insights 2016 Global New Product Introductions Report, May 2017.
2. 2016 Global Perceptions Study, Sterling Rice Group, January 2017
* Good news about almonds and heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving on almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.