California Almonds Deliver Natural, Wholesome BenefitsConsumers all over the world enjoy California almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality snack and ingredient. Almonds are available in more processed forms than almost any other nut, which, combined with their irresistible crunch and flavor, makes them easy to incorporate into any consumer packaged application. In fact, according to the 2010 Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), almonds were the leading nut used in new food products worldwide for the third year in a row. Additionally, the total growth of new almond products from 2009 to 2010 (up 5%) outpaced new food product introductions in general (up 3%), the GNPD survey says.
In North America, it’s evident that consumers enjoy almonds. For the second year in a row, in 2010, consumers ranked almonds as the most essential and irreplaceable nut, and the nut that consumers reported eating most, according to a North American Consumer Attitudes, Awareness and Usage Report, Sterling-Rice Group, 2010. For consumers looking for snacks to help with weight management, almonds add nutritional benefits, increased satiety and a crunch that’s hard to beat. It’s no wonder consumer demand continues to rise. When asked why they choose almonds, consumers rank “tastes better” as second only to “more nutritious” as the top reason for selection, so food professionals can be confident that including almonds will add value consumer appeal to any product.
Almonds are also a natural fit at breakfast and are considered by North American consumers to be the nut that best fits with breakfast foods versus other nuts, says a Breakfast Outlook Report, Sterling-Rice Group, 2009. Almonds lead top-of-mind awareness as a nut associated with breakfast cereal, as 58% of North Americans think of almonds first when they think of nuts in cereal, states a North American Consumer Attitudes, Awareness and Usage Report, Sterling-Rice Group, 2010. Almonds also outscore other nuts on two key attributes consumers say they are looking for when choosing breakfast products-“is tasty and nutritious” and “fills me up until lunch.” These attributes are considered even more important than ease of preparation, indicating that consumers are willing to take the time to enjoy wholesome breakfast products, which is backed by a Breakfast Outlook Report, Sterling-Rice Group, 2009.
Almonds and chocolate
The number of annual new chocolate product introductions worldwide more than doubled in the last decade (from 1,313 in 2001 to 5,296 in 2010), according to Mintel GNPD. Additionally, new products with nuts accounted for approximately one quarter of all chocolate product introductions, more than one third of which included almonds.
What’s more, more than two-thirds of consumers (69%) worldwide believe nutrition is important when choosing chocolate products, and survey respondents felt that chocolate with almonds was “more nutritious” (75%), “tastier” (74%) and “crunchier” (73%) than chocolate without almonds, according to a Global Chocolate Study, Sterling-Rice Group for the Almond Board of California, 2010.
“Consumers are looking for products that combine great taste with a nutritious boost,” says Stacey Humble, senior director, global marketing for Almond Board of California (ABC), Modesto, Calif. “Almonds are recognized as both wholesome and delicious, so it’s easy to understand why consumers want to see more almonds. A true powerhouse ingredient, almonds combine flavor, crunch and global appeal with nutritional benefits.”
Nutritious allure of California almonds
Almonds provide delicious crunch, unrivaled flavor and a host of nutrients. In fact, a 1-oz. handful of almonds (about 23) provides protein (6 g.), fiber (3.5 g.) and magnesium (76 mg.) and is an excellent source of vitamin E (7.4 mg.). A single ounce of almonds also offers potassium (200 mg.), calcium (75 mg.) and iron (1.1 mg.). Lastly, with only 1 g. of saturated fat and 13 g. unsaturated “good” fat, they are always cholesterol free.
Almonds are even considered a good fit with many popular weight-loss plans such as Weight Watchers, the Mediterranean Diet and the South Beach Diet. They offer key benefits, namely satiety, fewer calories for more nutrients, crunch and undeniable tasty flavor. Clearly, California almonds can add so much to any application.
ABC promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California almond growers and processors who produce approximately 80% of the world’s almonds, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, Calif., ABC is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
Good news about good fat-U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake be unsaturated. One serving of almonds (28 g.) has 13 g. of unsaturated fat and only 1 g. of saturated fat.
Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Editor’s Note: Almond Board of California, Modesto, Calif., provided information for this article. For more information, including its nutritional brochure and technical kit, go to www.almondboard.com