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Almonds on the Rise in Consumer Perception Measures

CHICAGO, July 11, 2013
– New consumer research conducted by the Sterling-Rice Group shows that from June 2012 to June 2013, North American consumers’ views of almonds became even more positive across a variety of attributes.  This is good news for those attending the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo (IFT) this weekend and looking for ingredients to use more often in their products – particularly those designed to address the ever-growing snacking occasion.

When asked to score their perception of common nuts across various measures, consumers in both the U.S. and Canada ranked almonds notably higher in several areas than in 2012 – including the perception of almonds as “nutritious,” now a record 93% in the U.S.
Almonds are up 4% in the U.S. and 2% in Canada as the most “liked” nut (number two to cashews).1 Almonds are number one in both countries when it comes to being viewed as the best nut for being “best for my heart,” “for beauty” and “gives me energy.”  In Canada, almonds scored as the nut that’s top-of-mind for “crunch” and “easy to eat on the go.”1

Interestingly, in both the U.S. and Canada, almonds experienced double-digit percentage increases for delivering well on being “natural.”2 Also, nearly half of North American consumers say they would be willing to pay more for an almond product.

“North American consumers have been increasing their overall perception of almonds for several years now,”  said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board of California (ABC). “We can attribute this in large part to the widespread attention around our nutrition research, as well as more products that make it easy and fun to eat almonds in a variety of ways.” 

Globally, almonds are most associated with being natural, great tasting and nutritious as selected by more than 75% of respondents.1

Food manufacturers continue to respond to consumer demand by making almonds the number one nut in new product introductions globally again, for the seventh year in a row.” 

Opportunities in Snacking
The new consumer research suggests almonds are a sound choice for product manufacturers looking for snacking solutions. As many IFT attendees can attest, snacking has become more common than meals – it comprised 53% of U.S. eating occasions in 2012, according to the Hartman Group. 

And Richard Mattes, MPH, PhD, RD from Purdue University notes in his IFT session abstract, “Several studies suggest nuts have a high satiety value, which leads to strong dietary compensation minimizing their contribution in to daily energy intake. So, nuts can be very useful as a snack or as part of a snack.” 7
IFT attendees can visit ABC (booth #1016) during the IFT Food Expo this year to watch live cooking demonstrations and sample a variety of almond-centric snack product ideas, including: 
• Consumer Demand-Driven Snack Bars
     o Almond, Cherry and Blueberry
     o Almond, Apricot and Chili
     o Almond, Chocolate and Coconut
• Almond Pizzelle Cookie Sandwich: Crisp almond flour cookies filled with spiced almond butter, dark chocolate-almond spread, almond crème and lavender honey
• Almond “Trilogy” Parfaits: Sweet parfaits with a base of non-dairy almond crème layered with crunchy almonds, fruit and spice “trilogies” in three flavors: Tropical, Cream, and Spice Trail

“The almond industry leads innovation that helps us continually improve against measures of safety and sustainability, resulting in a strong and stable supply year over year,” said Waycott.  “Our ability to meet ever-increasing worldwide demand is as solid as ever, and product manufacturers always can be confident that California almonds are an ideal ingredient for wide-ranging product innovation.”

Almond Nutrition
A one-ounce serving of natural or roasted almonds contains 6 grams of power-packed protein and 3.5 grams of fiber. It’s a top food source of the antioxidant vitamin E as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps the body produce energy, maintain muscle tissue function and regulate blood sugar. 

And, it’s a heart-healthy choice: according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. An ounce of almonds has 13 grams of monounsaturated, “good” fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat. 

A 2012 study shows whole almonds may provide the body with 20 percent fewer calories than Nutrition Facts labels currently state – 129 calories per ounce instead of the current 160. The study takes into account the digestibility of whole almonds, and further research is needed to better understand the results of the study and how this technique for calculating calories could potentially affect the calorie count of other foods. 

About Almond Board of California
Consumers all over the world enjoy California Almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality food product, making almonds California’s leading agricultural export in terms of value. ABC promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, Calif., ABC is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information about almonds, please visit

About the Global Perceptions Study
Objective: Monitor awareness, attitudes, and usage of almonds among people living in Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, South America, and the United States. 2011 was the benchmark wave for the 2012 and 2013 studies, as well as all future studies.

Methodology: 5,500 people participated in an online survey from 11 countries (500 per market). They were 20-69 years old, involved in grocery purchases/decisions for household, and 80% female/20% male. Survey was fielded in June 2013.
     • North America (1,000): United States, Canada
     • Asia (2,000): China, India, South Korea, Indonesia
     • Eastern Europe (500): Russia
     • Western Europe (1,500): France, Germany, United Kingdom
1.  2013 Global Perceptions Study, Sterling-Rice Group for the Almond Board of California
2. 2013 Global Perceptions Study, Sterling-Rice Group for the Almond Board of California
3.  2013 Global Perceptions Study, Sterling-Rice Group for the Almond Board of California
4.  2011, 2012 and 2013 Global Perceptions studies, Sterling-Rice Group for the Almond Board of California.
5. 2012 Innova Global New Products Report
6. Hartman OBM Eating Compass Survey, 2012.
7.  IFT13 Annual Meeting + Expo Program, Session 186: “Consumers, Products, Aspirations: The Diane Toops Legacy. It’s Not What’s on the Label, But What’s Inside That Matters Most.” Symposium, Food Health & Nutrition. July 15, 2013, 1:30-3 pm. 
9.  Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. 2012. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Amer J. Clin. Nutr.   doi:10.3945/ ajcn.112.035782. 
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