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 2022 for the eighth year running. Almonds’ versatility and suitability for a range of diet and lifestyle choices has ensured their sustained popularity in Europe. In fact, over 5,000 new almond products were introduced last year, accounting for 43.7% of global almond introductions, the largest share globally. Additionally, five European countries feature in the top ten countries for almond introductions with Germany, France, Spain and the UK leading across the region.
Supporting health demands
Consumers are continuing to prioritise their health, with on-pack messaging a go-to source of information. Almonds’ strong nutritional profile and ability to respond to a variety of health needs including free-from and keto, means manufacturers can feel confident in using them to add a ‘health halo’ to new product innovations. In the UK, there’s a higher than average use of health claims on products with almonds, with “vegetarian” and “vegan” being the most used*.
Sustained demand for plant-based is driving innovation in this space, especially for standalone plant-based products beyond meat and dairy substitutes. Almonds are the leading nut when it comes to plant-based claims on new product introductions in Europe thanks to their natural protein and ability to pair well with other plant proteins like legumes and lentils.
What’s more, almonds can also help solve a key challenge when it comes to plant-based food – taste and texture. According to Innova Market Insights, 32% of global consumers would still like to see improved texture in plant-based products. Almonds can deliver on both taste and texture when added to plant-based products. This is also reflected in the data, where crunchy and creamy are the top two texture claims on almond introductions.
Driving innovation across categories
Almonds come in 14 different forms, making them a versatile nut that canbe used across a range of categories, and in Europe, almonds are the most popular nut in new product launches across snacks, bars and dairy categories. Confectionery however is the leading category in terms of volume for almond introductions in Europe comprising 26.1% of the share. This is no surprise as globally, almonds are the number one ingredient choice for consumers when it comes to chocolate, with consumers believing they make chocolate tastier, more satisfying and more indulgent.
Lu Ann Williams, Global Insights Director at Innova Market Insights comments: “The current economic climate is forcing many consumers to make tough purchasing decisions, which is why the development of innovative products that can deliver on multiple demands is more important than ever. It’s unsurprising that almonds remain the number one nut in new product introductions when they’re able to satisfy a range of consumer demands from healthy indulgence to plant-based, thanks to their nutritional profile and versatility.”
“It’s great to see product developers continuing to turn to almonds to meet consumer needs in increasingly innovative ways” says Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director, Europe and Global Public Relations at the Almond Board of California. “As consumer demand continues to evolve, manufacturers can be reassured that almonds will add value to their products as a responsibly-grown, versatile and nutritious ingredient.”
*Please note that Innova’s use of the term “health claims” refers to nutrient or ingredient claims e.g. “high source of protein” or “no preservatives”. There are no official health claims for almonds.
Innova Market Insights, Global New Product Introductions Report, 2022. May 2023.
Innova Market Insights, Innova Trends Survey 2022
Almond Board of California, Global Chocolate Study 2022
Source: Porter Novelli