According to Global New Products data from Innova Market Insights, almonds are the top nut in global new product development for the sixteenth consecutive year.

This year’s Global New Products Report revealed that more than 12,000 new almond products were introduced in 2021, making up 40 percent of total nut introductions. Almonds are the number one nut in four of the top six global food introduction categories: bakery, bars, dairy and cereals. Bakery’s growth at 15 percent is highest out of all introductions across global food, nut and almond introductions.

“We’re continually impressed to see manufacturers across the globe innovating with almonds to stay on top of consumer demands, trends and preferences coming out of the pandemic,” says Harbinder Maan, associate director, trade marketing and stewardship at the Almond Board of California. “The versatility of almonds as an ingredient is truly unique, and we continue to see new innovations across product categories that really push the envelope.”

The success of almonds as a key ingredient across product categories can partially be attributed to their texture versatility. The creaminess and contrasting smoothness of almond butter is a natural fit for spreads, which grew globally at 12 percent, whereas sliced or chopped almonds add crunch to a growing desserts and ice cream category. To satisfy an increased demand for gluten-free and healthy indulgence options, almond flour is often utilized as a key ingredient in the ready meals and side dish category, particularly in products like frozen pizzas.

The report also revealed introductions with almonds led to a higher likelihood of on-pack health claims with over 1 in 5 products with almonds featuring the top health label claim, “gluten-free,” specifically. The remaining four leading health label claims for products with almonds were “no additives/preservatives,” “high source of fiber,” “organic,” and “high source of protein.”

“Coming out of two unprecedented years of pandemic-related change, it’s encouraging to see consumer expectations shifting towards a demand for a healthier lifestyle both in what and how they choose to consume,” says Lu Ann Williams, global insights director at Innova Market Insights. “It’s no surprise that almonds have maintained their spot as number one for 16 years and counting, with the dynamic and various texture, flavor and health label claims they satisfy.”