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Almond Trends

Developing recipes and products with California almonds satisfies consumer demand. Their distinctive taste works perfectly with consumers' favorite flavor profiles—and with 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber in every one-ounce serving, almond nutrition helps consumers power through their day. No wonder they're Americans' favorite snack nut and their favorite ingredient in snack bars.1

Your secret weapon for innovative and diverse menu development.

Almonds deliver as a versatile and functional ingredient, without sacrificing taste, texture, or indulgence.

Bursting with the unique characteristics consumers crave, almonds are an incredible source of inspiration for food professionals. Almonds offer culinarians a practical, plant-based ingredient that serves as a staple across dayparts, cuisines, and formats.

An exceptionally exciting way to build flavor and hearty texture, almonds' various forms deliver on a wide variety of attributes. From almond butter and almond milk to the more traditional ingredient form like sliced, diced, chopped, slivered, or whole, the opportunities for creative recipe development are endless. Moreover, almonds are a naturally "clean" ingredient, have a relatively long shelf life, and align with most current dietary trends (e.g. paleo, plant-based, vegan).

Almonds not only add distinctive crunch and flavor that consumers crave but can also act as a substitute for other ingredients in dairy-free or gluten-free adaptations on your menu. According to Datassential, almonds are such a versatile nut across restaurant segments they are featured on one third of menus in the U.S. 1

  • 25 percent of consumers report eating almonds frequently when dining out and nearly 20 percent of all restaurant entree menus feature almonds. 2

  • Almonds are the nut most often consumed as an ingredient and are the healthiest rated nut by U.S. consumers. 2

  • North American consumers rate almonds as natural, nutritious, and good on their own or with other foods." 3 

Datassential Almond Trends Study, 2019.
2019 Global Perceptions Study, Sterling-Rice Group, 2019.
Consumer AAU Study, Sterling-Rice Group, 2018.

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Unsurpassed versatility.

In the interest of brevity, we'll just go ahead and give it to you straight: there isn't much you can't do with almonds in the kitchen. With so many unique almond forms and functions to choose from—they're available in 15 different forms—almonds serve up virtually endless possibilities, and your next culinary masterpiece is the perfect place to start.


Whole almonds are the most frequently consumed form when it comes to snacking. Add natural or roasted almonds to snack mixes, coat or enrobe them in on-trend flavors, or use whole almonds for added crunch and visual appeal in snack clusters, confectionary, or as an inclusion in bars. With whole almonds the options are limitless – blend them into dips or sauces, make fresh almond milk by soaking and straining, or slice and dice them into any of the other forms listed here. 

Almond Butter

84 percent of US consumers agree that almond butter enhances the taste of other foods when used as an ingredient.

Almond butter can work as a standalone spread or dip, as a layer, drizzle, or binder in bars cookies, and bakery items, a thickener in beverages/smoothies and a filling or coating in confectionery products. Almond butter lends a healthy halo to formulations suited for all times of day. 

Meal or Flour

Both made from ground almonds, almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds and is ground more finely than almond meal. The coarser almond meal will give your product a more pronounced mouthfeel and texture, whereas almond flour has a lighter texture for delicate items like macarons.   

Use almond meal as a coating for snack bites or to add crunch and texture to a crusts, bars, and baked goods. Almond flour is a wholesome alternative to other flours and is a staple for  gluten-free baking, as a sauce thickener or a key ingredient in crackers, breads and cereals.  

Defatted Almond Flour

Defatted almond flour is lower in calories and fat and higher in protein than regular almond flour or meal. This almond flour is simply almond flour with the oil removed. It has an extra-fine texture and clean taste which allows other ingredients to shine. Use this flour to add density to bars, as a substitute in crusts, or as a binder.

Almond Milk

Dairy alternatives new product introductions grew 13 percent in 20181Almond milk's volume grew by more than 11 percent in 2018, more than it has over the past several years4.
Lactose-free, and dairy-free, and free from cholesterol and saturated fat, almond milk can be sweetened, unsweetened, fortified or blended with other dairy alternatives. Almond milk is extremely versatile for carrying flavors in bottled coffee drinks and smoothies, and an ideal ingredient in cross-category beverages, like a cold-pressed juice or coffee, dips and spreads. Almond milk is a great way to add creaminess to sauces, frostings, coatings, overnight oats, packaged soups and stews. More recently almond milk has been used as the base for yoghurts, and ice cream.

Slices or Flakes 

Almond slices or flakes are just that – blanched or natural almonds that have been cut along their diameter creating larger pieces.  This form is a great alternative to whole almonds when you're looking for an inclusion in a softer, baked good or snack bar, but still want an added crunch. Almond slices also offer visual appeal that lends a premium look to products across categories. 

Slivers or Halves

Did you know, "crunchy" is the top texture claim for products with almonds1? Utilize slivers or halves as an inclusion or topping in bars, bakery and confectionery products to add the crunch consumers crave. Almond slivers are also the perfect addition to salad toppers, trail mixes, and granola.

Diced or Chopped

Diced or chopped almonds can bring a mouthfeel to just about anything. Use this form in sweeter applications like a coating for ice cream bars or a filling for bakery and confectionery products. 

Almonds are the number one ingredient in global consumers' ideal chocolate products, and according to consumers, almonds make chocolate crunchier (85%) and more nutritious (84%)5. Use diced or chopped almonds with your chocolate products, baked goods, and as a topping for yogurt or frozen desserts.

Almond Paste

Almond paste has been compared to marzipan but it's actually quite different. Almond paste is less sweet, coarser and used in different applications than marzipan (also referred to as almond candy dough).

Almond paste is typically used as a filling or binder in baked bars, pies and cakes to help create a chewier texture. "Chewy" is the number one texture claim among almond introductions of bars1

Almond Oil

Almond oil lends a uniquely nutty, toasty flavor to just about anything – from cakes and cookies to chips, muffins, popcorn snacks, and breads - Add the rich, amaretto-like flavor of almonds to salad dressings or sauces using almond oil. 


Available for a brief time between mid-April and mid-June, green almonds are simply picked before the almond inside has fully matured and formed a hard shell. Cut the almond hull along the seam with a paring knife and use the fresh, herbaceous inside as part of a composed salad, plain with a bit of sea salt, or pickle them for use year-round.

Natural or Blanched?

While natural almonds have their skin still on, blanched means the skins have been removed through a process of scalding, skin removal, drying, cooling and sorting. Whole, Meal, Flour, Sliced/Flakes, Silvers/Halves, and Diced/Chopped almonds are all available natural or blanched. Roasting brings out the flavor and color of blanched almonds, while natural almonds have the well-known nutty flavor and are suitable for all-around use.

Almond roasting.

Almond roasting emphasizes the natural attributes of almonds – deepening the color and flavor profile, and creating crispier, crunchier texture. Remember to package almonds properly by removing oxygen from the packaging environment, either through nitrogen flushing or vacuum. This will help provide a much longer shelf-life. Learn more here.

1 2018 Global New Product Introductions. Innova Market Insights. May 2019.

2 Consumer AAU: United States. Sterling Rice Group. 2018.

3 Almond Butter Attitude & Usages. Sterling Rice Group. April 2018.

4 2018 Nielsen US Retail Product Movement Study. Nielsen. 2018.

5 Global Chocolate Study. Sterling Rice Group. 2018.

Snack Nuts Evolve with Changing Tastes, from Innova Market Insights