The California Almond Position Report is released by the twelfth day of every month and contains the most recent almond trade statistics. To view the current report, archives of past editions, and other related information, click here.
Types & Varieties
Almond Varieties and Classifications
As if one variety of almonds wasn’t versatile enough to set your creativity free, there are more than two dozen almond varieties produced in California orchards. Each variety has distinct characteristics, which are important to understand so that you can select the appropriate almond for your needs.
California Almond Classifications
California Almond varieties are categorized into five broad classifications for marketing purposes based on distinguishing characteristics such as size and shape. The majority of almond production in California falls into the following three major classifications: Nonpareil, California, and Mission. Some varieties may fall under more than one classification since they have characteristics of one type (such as Mission), but are also blanchable (a requirement of the California classification).
With the widest range of uses among the marketing categories, Nonpareil are readily blanched (skin removal) and cut for processed forms. A thin outer shell and smooth kernel allow for easy, blemish-free processing. As a result, Nonpareil are used anywhere an attractive appearance or a strong almond identification is important.
This classification includes a number of varieties that are blanchable and used primarily in manufactured products. California-type almonds have a wide range of shell hardness, kernel shapes, skin color, and surface characteristics. As a result, they are quite adaptable and well suited for nearly any process or application.
Mission almonds have hard shells, and their kernels are small, wide, and often plump. The kernel skin is generally darker than Nonpareil and wrinkled, which enhances salt and flavor adherence. Blanching is not as common for this type.
Major California Almond Varieties
Food professionals can order California Almonds either based on the broad classification type or specific varieties. When placing orders, it’s best to be very specific on either the specific variety or classification preferred to ensure delivery of the exact almonds you intended. For example, ordering “Mission” without specifying “Mission Variety” could result in delivery of various almonds that fall under the “Mission Classification,” such as the Butte, Padre, or Fritz varieties.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains strict standards and grades for California Almonds in order to ensure that the products for consumers reach or exceed a certain level of quality. The following details cover everything from defects to discoloration so you can always be assured that your almond purchase will not only meet the USDA's standards, but also your own.
For a complete copy of the grades, contact the Almond Board of California.
Storage & Handling
Handle with Care
Protection from direct sunlight, pests, and humidity (<40°F and <65% relative humidity) are critical when it comes to proper almond storage and handling. Also, be sure to rotate your stock to maximize freshness.
Global Regulatory Info
Tariff levels, import regulations and trade agreements can have a significant impact on the access of California Almonds to export markets. The Almond Board of California closely monitors these issues by working with U.S. and foreign government authorities, as well as by participating in a number of international organizations.
Check this page regularly for the latest updates on almond market access information and tariffs.
Almond handlers, click the following links for related information:
The Almond Board of California maintains a trade source database of over 100 almond suppliers (Handlers). Please use this list to identify a supplier and contact them directly if you are interested in including almonds in your recipes or products.
For pricing information, please contact specific Handlers directly, as the Almond Board of California is unable to provide these details.
With almonds holding the title as California’s #1 agricultural export, it’s never been more important for our industry to be doing everything possible to provide a plentiful, healthful and safe food product. That’s why Almond Board of California is 100% committed to developing initiatives aimed at topics of concern for both almond producers and consumers.
Our significant investment in research and programs helps maximize quality, consistency and safety at the orchard level, as well as throughout processing and distribution. What’s more, we’re also looking toward the future by further expanding our efforts, including the addition of rigorous grower self-assessments in pest, irrigation and nutrition management, energy efficiency and air quality.
Almond Board of California Food Safety Programs
Our California Almond Sustainability Program (CASP) is designed to monitor the industry’s sustainability practices and identify areas for improvement and education.
Our Food Quality and Safety Program (FQSP) strengthens the commitment to producing almonds in a safe, responsible manner, and provides consumers around the world with the highest level of confidence in our product.
Our Pasteurization Program addresses safety throughout the system, from growers and handlers to processing, packaging and sales. As a result of this program, all almonds are pasteurized before being sold to consumers in North America.