With a historic 3-billion-pound crop hanging in the trees, almond growers may be relieved to know the nut is still growing in popularity as a food ingredient.
The number of new almond products rose by 13 percent in 2019 with 12,206 new products introduced globally, according to new data from Innova Market Insights.
For the first time in the report’s history, dairy joined confectionery, snacks, bakery goods and bars amid top categories for new products with almonds, according to a news release summarizing the report.
With 934 new products introduced last year, dairy now holds an 8 percent share of total new food introductions containing almonds, Innova’s research found. Almonds have been the No. 1 nut for uses in new products since 2006.
“This annual report captures the evolving work that goes into developing new products,” said Lu Ann Williams, Innova Market Insights’ director of innovation. “It provides reassurance and validation behind using an ingredient like almonds and reinforces consumer demand.
“If you’re making a short list of ingredients to include in product development and you see these numbers, they should give you a lot of confidence,” she said. “Almonds continue to show growth and expansion into new markets because they have undeniable consumer appeal and align with desirable health and texture claims.”
The data comes as downward pressure on grower prices suggests a ceiling may have been reached in sustainable almond production in California, with one Rabobank analyst recently advising growers to consider retiring underperforming orchards regardless of age.
Winning streak over?
With this year’s domestic yield expected to top 3 billion pounds for the first time, some analysts believe California’s lengthy run of profitable almond prices may be over for the next several seasons as the rapid pace of planting as apparently overtaken world demand.
Industry groups such as the Almond Board of California have been working feverishly in recent years to boost demand by promoting the nut as a food ingredient, with significant success.
New almond product introductions across the confectionery, snacks, bakery, bars and dairy categories account for 80 percent of global almond introductions, but almonds also experienced double-digit growth last year in emerging categories such as desserts and ice cream (17 percent0 and spreads (26 percent), according to the Almond Board’s release.
The Global New Product Introductions Report from Innova Market Insights found that almonds are the top nut in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America.
In North America, the third largest region for almond introductions, almonds are the top nut type for new product introductions in the bar, snacks, bakery and dairy categories, the report states.
Bars represent the biggest category for almonds with 24 percent of introductions. The United States saw 12 percent growth in 2019 with 1,791 almond product introductions, according to the study.
For a complete summary of the report, click here.