According to data from Innova Market Insights’ Global New Product Introductions report, almonds have maintained their top spot as the most used nut in product introductions across Europe in 2021 for the seventh year running. Almonds’ ability to remain integral to accelerating diet and lifestyle trends post-pandemic has ensured their continued success despite an overall slowdown in nut introductions. In fact, Europe is leading the globe for new almond products, with over 5,500 introduced accounting for 46% of global almond introductions.
What’s more, six European countries make up the top ten countries for almond introductions with Germany, France and the UK leading the European markets.
Driven by plant based
Across many European markets consumers’ top concerns are now focused around both personal and planetary wellbeing and this has seen the plant-based movement shift from the fringes to mainstream. As a responsibly grown, versatile, plant-based ingredient, almonds add value for manufacturers exploring plant-based innovations.
In fact, almonds are the leading nut for vegan and plant-based claims across Europe and globally they lead by a large margin when compared to other nuts. Vegan is the top health message on almond introductions in Germany (29.8%) and the second most prevalent in the UK (35.2%).
Health benefits are appealing
With the renewed focus on personal wellbeing, health messaging overall is now a priority for manufacturers on-pack and almonds’ ability to support a variety of health needs adds appeal for new product innovation. In fact, globally, introductions with almonds leads to a higher likelihood of health claims. In Europe, this higher than average use of health claims is best evidenced in the UK where the use of eight out of the top ten health claims on almond introductions, including “high in fibre” and “source of protein” was higher than the global average.
“Coming out of two unprecedented years of pandemic-related change, consumer attitudes have been re-shaped and it remains encouraging to see expectations continually shifting towards healthier lifestyles both in terms of what and how they choose to consume,” said Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights.
“It’s no surprise that almonds have maintained their spot as number one for 7 years and counting, with the dynamic and various texture, flavour and health label claims they satisfy. As consumers continue to expect their food to address their health and lifestyle needs, manufacturers need to innovate with new formats and healthy ingredients to meet demand and should be confident that almonds’ versatility make them a futureproof ingredient.”
Aiding category demand
In Europe, almonds are the number one nut across the snacks, bars, dairy and cereal categories thanks to both their versatility and health credentials. Notably, almonds were the number one nut in dairy across all global regions by a wide margin and in Europe have experienced 7% growth versus 2020. Bakery is the leading category for new product introductions with almonds in the UK, France and Italy, whilst confectionery is the leading category for almond introductions in Germany. Although heritage and tradition continue to play a key role in the use of almonds, more and more their versatility and extensive portfolio of formats – coupled with their health benefits – means manufacturers turn to them to formulate across multiple categories.
“As lifestyles evolve and there’s demand for healthier products that are also sustainable, there’s never been more opportunities for almonds in new product development,” said Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director, Europe and Global Public Relations at the Almond Board of California. “While we continue to shout about the benefits it’s great to continually see manufacturers’ increasingly innovative and exciting uses of almond to create great eating experiences and healthy options.”
Editor: Kiran Grewal firstname.lastname@example.org