Almonds were the most frequently used nut ingredient in new food and beverage product launches in 2019/20, according to the latest Almond Board of Australia annual report, being used in nearly 11,700 new food and beverage products in the twelve months to June 2020. This compares to 7,800 new products including peanuts as an ingredient, with hazelnuts coming third in the nut category with close to 7,500 new food products being launched globally in 2019/20.
Almonds continue to experience a steady rise in consumption as consumers look for healthy and nutritious snacks, often as an alternative to meat or dairy.
The category has benefited from a large number of new products launched in the non-dairy segment, with 765 products launched across the dairy-alternative drinks, non-dairy yoghurts and non-dairy ice creams in 2019/20. The demand for almonds has also been stimulated through growing popularity of almond butter which was used as an ingredient in 303 new food products. A total of 469 new food products launched in 2019/20 included almond flour or almond meal as an ingredient, according to the report.
The versatility of almonds, as well as the perceived price competitiveness compared to some other nuts, has also contributed to the growing popularity of almonds as a food ingredient. ‘It is mainly about the versatility, price attractiveness and the promotion almonds have received over the past few decades’, a UK based nut trader said. He added: ‘Almonds benefit from heavy promotion by the Almond Board of California’.
Meanwhile, the Mintec Benchmark Price for US almonds (standard sheller run delivered FAS), edged up 5% in the four-week period to 7th October, to USD 1.95/lbs. In August, the market bottomed at a decade-low of USD 1.75/lbs, on the back of oversupply in the largest almond producing region, California. Since then, prices have strengthened, driven by robust demand and sellers’ hesitance to lock into contracts at low prices.