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  • Almonds are the No. 1 Nut in New Product Introductions Across Europe

    Nov 14th, 2016

    According to Innova Market Insights latest Global New Product Introductions Report, almonds are now the number one nut in new introductions in Europe with a 48% regional share and a new record high of 42% globally. Germany, UK and France follow the US as the top leading countries introducing new almond products. With 4,313 new almond products, Europe saw a double-digit growth of 16% increase in 2015. This is the first time almonds have taken the top spot in Europe with the lead being particularly driven by increased consumer demand in the snacks and bars sectors as well as growing interest in lactose-free and gluten-free - the leading health claim in UK almond introductions. The demand for almonds can also be attributed to their role as natural, nutrient-rich ingredients with appealing taste and crunch and extensive versatility as well as their consistently safe, stable supply. Country-specific increases include a 34% increase in snacking new product introductions in France, while Germany has seen a huge 107% increase in spreads. Almonds are the number one nut in the UK leading in 4 of the 5 leading categories for almonds, with particular increases of 33% in bakery introductions and 15% in bars.

    Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director for Europe for the Almond Board of California said: “Across Europe, consumers are increasingly seeking convenient, healthy snacking solutions they can feel good about. Food manufacturers are recognizing that this need for convenience and desire for natural, unprocessed foods can be met by the versatile and nutritious almond.” Speaking with FoodIngredientsFirst in a detailed interview last week, Roffe-Rackind said, “As part of our consumer attitude awareness study, we have seen quite a dramatic increase in what we call top of mind awareness, so consumers are thinking about almonds more than they were before.” “I believe it has come from this general trend of looking for healthy snacks from a convenient standpoint with a need to eat smaller snacks throughout the day,” she explains. “People are looking for more natural, unprocessed snacks, and manufactures are also looking for products that allow them to have a clear label, and almonds really provide that very nicely both from a consumer demand standpoint but they also meet that formulation standpoint as well.”

    “Snacking is our biggest area of focus from a trends standpoint,” claims Roffe-Rackind, “With all the years of nutrition studies that we have, it really helps us communicate that clear message around nutrition and the benefits to human health.”“There are lots of different application and categories which we are seeing almonds growing in,” she adds, “And when we look at new product introductions, almonds continue to be the number one nut, that has been used in new product introductions for the past 8 years and for the very first time in Europe, we have surpassed the hazelnut as the number one nut.”Richard Waycott, CEO of the Almond Board said: “We are in the process of expanding quite dramatically, and getting European consumers to be more savvy snackers and realizing that almonds are great nutrition food to be eating more of on a daily basis, is something we see as a huge opportunity in Europe.”Globally, almonds continue to lead new product introductions around the world and over multiple categories, widening the gap with other nuts. Almond product introductions grew 8% in 2015, despite a 4% decline in overall food introductions and a 7% decline in nut introductions. Compared to other tree nuts, almond introductions hold top spots across the categories of confectionery, bakery, snacks, bars and cereals, substantiating endless opportunity in new product innovation. Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, explains, “More foods are considered a snack today and flavor innovations continue to deliver excitement in the industry. We are seeing almonds used in an even wider variety of snacking products, including protein snacks, fruit and vegetable products and yogurt snacks – catering for indulgent, convenient snacking for a multitude of occasions.” California is the top producer of almonds with 83% of global production and Western Europe is the second largest shipment destination behind North America. Almonds are California’s largest agricultural export and second most valuable crop.