Almonds remain top natural inclusion for confectionery and snacks series
Almonds have retained their place at the top of the tree in Europe for the fifth time running as the number one inclusions for confectionery, snacks and bars categories, according to Innova Market Insights’ research.
The organisation’s latest annual report showed that last year, the nut variety took a 40% market share within the segment, and experienced double-digit growth in new product development (up 12%) over the last year.
In total, 5,416 new ranges containing almonds were introduced across Europe in 2019 compared to 4,837 in 2018, with confectionery being an especially strong area of growth as consumers demand a greater array of natural choices within product series.
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 led the way with 44% of global almond introductions.
Almost 90% of these introductions were in the confectionery, snacks, bakery, bars, dairy and cereal categories. The surprise this year was that 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 7% share of total new almond product introductions in Europe.
The report shows 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. The UK, France, and Germany all experienced growth on the previous year and Italy was the EU market that saw the most significant growth, with a 20% increase in almond introductions compared to 2018. Emerging categories that experienced growth across one or more of the European markets include 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,” says 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 ten health claims appearing more frequently in almond introductions compared to the global average. “Vegetarian” was the top health claim in the UK, appearing on 45% of almond introductions. This was followed by “vegan” (34%),” gluten-free” (34%) and “high fibre” (27%). “Gluten free” and “organic” featured in the top three health claims on products with almonds in France, Italy and Germany and “vegan” labelling also featured prominently on almond 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,” says Dariela Roffe-Rackind, director, Europe and Global Public Relations at the US-based 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.” – Visit Almonds.com to view an infographic highlighting key data from the report.