Almonds maintain top spot as most used nut in new European products
A total of 5,416 new products containing almonds were introduced across Europe in 2019 compared to 4,837 in 2018.
According to data from Innova Market Insights’ Global New Product Introductions report, almonds maintained the top spot in Europe as the number one nut in new product introductions for the fifth consecutive year in 2019.
Almonds represented over 40 percent of all nut introductions in the region and experienced double-digit growth in new product development (+12 percent) over the last year.
Europe was the second fastest growing region for almond new product development after Asia-Pacific and was also the leading region for almond introductions for the ninth consecutive year. In 2019, the region saw 44 percent of global almond introductions, with 90 percent of these in the confectionery, snacks, bakery, bars, dairy and cereal categories.
For the first time in the report’s history, dairy appeared in the top five categories for new product introductions with almonds, with 334 introductions in 2019 compared to 214 in 2018. Dairy now holds a seven percent share of total new almond product introductions in Europe.
The report showed that Germany, France and the UK were the leading European markets, making up more than 2,000 almond introductions in 2019, and are in the top five countries globally, alongside the United States and India. Emerging categories that experienced growth across one or more of the European markets included spreads, sports nutrition, desserts and ice-cream and soft drinks.
“This annual report captures the evolving work that goes into developing new products. It provides reassurance and validation behind using an ingredient like almonds, and reinforces consumer demand,” said Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “If you’re making a shortlist of ingredients to include in product development and you see these numbers, they should give you a lot of confidence. 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 report also revealed that health claims were observed more frequently on introductions with almonds compared to total food introductions. This was true in the UK particularly, with nine of the top 10 health claims appearing more frequently in introductions compared to the global average. “Vegetarian” was the top health claim in the UK, appearing on 45 percent of almond introductions. This was followed by “vegan” (34 percent),” gluten-free” (34 percent) and “high fibre” (27 percent).
“Gluten free” and “organic” featured in the top three health claims on products in France, Italy and Germany and “vegan” labelling also featured prominently on products in Germany and France.
“The many forms and formats of almonds makes them appealing to manufacturers across a wide range of categories. It’s no surprise that almonds continue to be a popular ingredient due to their versatility and nutrition, but the ways in which manufacturers expand almond usage across categories is more impressive every year,” said Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director, Europe and Global Public Relations at the Almond Board of California. “As consumer needs and preferences shift toward better-for-you, plant-based and natural ingredients, almonds simply offer product developers freedom to continually explore and identify opportunities for innovation.”