What’s new in nuts? Top trends driving sales
Nuts are thriving in the snack food category. With a global market value of US$15.8bn they are the third biggest market segment in terms of value in the snacks category, right after processed snacks (US$38bn) and potato chips (US$26.7bn). Their success and immense growth show no signs of stopping; with health, convenience and taste key drivers in purchasing behaviour. But nuts are nothing new, and today’s consumers are demanding more. Below are just some of the trends that are poised to further diversify the market.
Nuts – the perfect snack?
Nuts remain one of the most versatile snacks in the market. They’re plant-based, a great source of protein and fibre, and packed with heart-healthy fats and natural oils. These characteristics also ensure nuts keep their healthy ‘halo’, making them the perfect snack for the growing group of healthy consumers.
Health concerns, together with the demand for convenience and clean labels are fuelling the popularity of this better-for-you snack, with the global market for edible nuts projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.0% by 2025.
But the market is changing. Variety is becoming key to consumers’ purchasing decisions and ongoing product innovation. This is where seasoning comes into play. From sweet honey to spicy paprika or smoky barbecue, adding extra seasoning to nuts delivers the diverse taste experiences consumers seek. When it comes to new flavours, the nuts category tends to be driven by the same trends that are affecting the wider snacks category. A lot of new product launches feature spicy flavours like sriracha, as well as sweeter varieties like caramel coated pecans or café mocha almonds. Consumers can also expect tropical sensory profiles with Latin American influences, such as olive, key lime, mango, paprika, dark rum and sour orange. Asian flavours will also hold court in the retail aisles, with new product development predicted to include exotic tastes like cardamom, tikka masala and matcha.
A floral future
According to market researchers GlobalData, one of the key trends of the future in the wider snack category will be floral flavours. Combining sweet and savoury flavours has already become an increasingly prominent practice in the industry and the tendency to further blur the lines between sensory profiles is going to continue. Floral and botanic flavours are already well-established in a lot ethnic snacks and there is a good chance that this will likely shift over into other snack categories due to their perceived healthiness, natural profile and gourmet positioning. While it might still be some time until elderflower cashews or rose blossom almonds will hit the supermarket shelves, the versatility of nuts means that opportunities for creativity in this segment are practically endless.
A world of opportunities
Whether they’re dry coated, salted, honey roasted or infused with spices and herbs, nuts are an all-around snack. By innovating with different flavours and coatings, manufacturers can further increase the appeal of nuts. At tna, we offer a wide range of equipment for the nuts industry. From roasting, seasoning, coating and blending systems to high-speed bagging and case packing solutions, our technology will ensure you’ll be able to maximise the opportunities this market is offering.
Contact us now to find out more about our technology or visit us at booth 32 during the INC Nut and Dried Fruit Congress in Sevilla, from May 21st until May 23rd.
 Top Trends in Savory Snacks 2018 (GlobaData, March 2018)
 Wyatt, 2016, Emerging Trends: https://www.iriworldwide.com/IRI/media/video/2017%20SNAXPO%20IRI%20%20Emerging%20Trends.pdf