Food producers and chefs have gone nuts for pistachios, according to a new trend report by FONA International.
The Geneva, Ill.-based flavor firm said there were roughly 65 new, pistachio-flavored product launches in 2016, nearly double from 2015.
In North America, most product launches fell into the sweet biscuits and cookies category (14.34 percent), with dairy-based frozen products following close behind (13.58 percent). Pistachios also appeared in snack mixes (11.7 percent), non-individually wrapped chocolate pieces (7.92 percent) and snack and energy bars (7.55 percent).
“Known for a delicate and subtle flavor, the pistachio nut can be a perfect partner to many dishes and products. And it’s showing clear growth,” the report reads.
Chefs are also getting in on the trend, FONA found. The firm recorded 358 mentions of pistachios on restaurant menus nationwide, particularly at fine and upscale dining establishments. Chefs used pistachios most often in desserts, but they also appeared in appetizers, entrees and soups.
“We’re seeing the unique taste paired with stronger flavors in everything from halibut to chocolate bark,” the report reads. “High in Vitamin A, calcium and many other important minerals, pistachios add a light, healthy touch as either a snack or as a product addition.”