A versatile ingredient, nuts account for a rising share of new product launches in the ever-evolving global snacks category. In this article, the Almond Board of California investigates the factors driving the growth of this ingredient.
According to Innova Market Insights, snack nuts and seeds, like trail mixes, accounted for over 30% of snack launches in 2016, up from 26. 5% five years previously. Factors driving that growth include new research on nuts’ health attributes, greater availability of various nut types, and technological advances allowing for new coatings, flavours, and packaging formats. When it comes to snack nuts, almonds fit particularly well with new consumer eating habits, changing tastes, and various trends. In fact, nearly one-quarter of global snack nut products launched in 2016, featured almonds as an ingredient and they were the number one nut in new product introductions in Europe with a 48% regional share.
The range of snacks featuring almonds continues to widen beyond traditional raw or salted nuts to include smoked and caramelised variants that offer limitless potential. Thanks to almonds’ unique ability to blend with and carry such a wide variety of flavours, there are products in the market ranging from more traditional profiles like honey, lemon, and ginger towards exotic and spicy palates such as jalapeno and wasabi. On-trend combinations for almonds continue to evolve the standard for taste, pushing the boundaries of sweet and savoury profiles. Today even Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Mint Mocha, and seasonal variants such as Pumpkin Pie, are hitting the mark with consumers.