Almonds provide inspiration for innovation at FiE

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28 Nov 2017 --- Consumers are increasingly taking a more holistic view when choosing what to eat, something that is becoming a major driver in their purchasing decisions. According to new research by Innova Market Insights, concerns around products that are “good for me, good for the planet” are increasing, providing opportunities for ingredients that can support sustainability and ethics claims in relation to humans, animals and the environment.

The increasing range of claims includes: natural, GMO-free, sustainable, and ethical. Almonds inherent properties help consumers take the guesswork out of choosing snacks they can feel good about.
 
Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights, says: “The clean and clear labeling trend continues to be important, particularly in new product development across the snacking category. We are seeing almond attributes more frequently named and noted on packaging as positioning around ‘natural’ and ‘plant-based’ ingredients have become commonplace.” 
 
Amongst the growing concerns around sustainability, awareness of food waste continues to increase. Awareness about waste was mirrored in research from the Almond Board of California which looked at the attitudes of UK, French and German consumers. The study found that consumers from all three countries are interested in food safety and food waste when purchasing products, with many seeing it as their personal contribution towards taking care of the environment. 

Dariela Roffe-Rackind, Director, Europe at the Almond Board of California, explains: “People are thinking more about the environment and their wellbeing than ever before, which is helping shape their purchasing decisions. There are opportunities for almonds to be a solution in this space and help meet rising consumer demand through innovative and smart sourcing of ingredients.” 

“This trend is already being noted in recent new product introduction, with almonds taking, for the second year in a row, the number one nut spot for new product introductions in Europe,” she notes. 

Almond Board of California’s presence at Food Ingredients Europe will bring to life the almond industry’s mission for sustainable practices, with the Board’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Karen Lapsley, taking part in a panel discussion which asks: “Is the food industry doing enough to support sustainability?” Dr. Lapsley will touch upon the California almond community’s commitment to zero waste.
 
Understanding that health and wellbeing is becoming more important globally, Dr. Lapsley will also discuss how food and beverage companies can develop products to meet the “healthy convenience” trend, offering insight into how almonds’ key role as a versatile, natural product is ideal for the growing healthy convenience market. 
 
At the Almond Board of California booth 09.0G6, CASS sessions (California Almond Solution Sessions) will aim to inspire manufacturers when incorporating almonds into snacking products. From bar formulations that address growing consumer demand for health and fitness to snacking solutions that deliver on nutrition and taste, to how California Almonds can deliver in gluten free and plant based snacking solutions, sessions are personalized to participant interest areas. They will be held on a drop-in and by appointment basis throughout the day, every day. 
 
The Almond Board of California team will be joined by leading food innovation chef, Stephan Schmitz. Using latest consumer, trends and sustainability research, he will showcase the flavor and versatility of almonds through a range of innovative snacking solutions.

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