Nut innovation continues
New food and beverage product launches featuring such ingredients as nuts and seeds grew at a compound annual growth rate of 16% between 2012 and 2016, according to data provided by the market research firm Innova Market Insights, Arnhem, The Netherlands. During that period, the top five categories of new food and beverage products featuring nuts and seeds included bakery (16%), sauces and seasonings (13%), snacks (13%), confectionery (11%), and prepared meals (9%).
On a global basis during 2016, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews and walnuts were the five leading nuts with regards to new food and beverage introductions. Almonds and hazelnuts most often were featured in confectionery products. Peanuts, cashews and walnuts were introduced more often in snack products.
The ingredients play well in a marketplace where many consumers are seeking products with a natural connotation and may be perceived as clean label. There is also demand from consumers who are eschewing gluten and seeking snacks and baked foods that qualify as clean label.
The market research company Packaged Facts recently noted in a report the impact clean label may have on a key nut category — confectionery.
“Clean snacking is a balanced approach to nutrition that explores realistic options rather than a more dogmatic philosophy that forbids snacks or sweets altogether,” Packaged Facts said in its report, Chocolate Candy in the U.S., 11th Edition.
Packaged Facts forecast that it expects sales of confectionery products in the United States to exceed $41 billion by 2020. Chocolate candy, which often is paired with nuts, is expected to account for 60% of the market’s sales by 2020.