As the new harvest begins, the 2018-19 year to date results to 31st August show UK demand for ‘shelled’ California Walnuts has grown significantly.
UK shipment figures to 31st August highlight a year-on-year increase for ‘shelled’ California Walnuts of over 15%, equating to an uplift of 1,358,293 pounds or just over 616 metric tonnes1, a sizeable increase on 2017/18.
Pamela Graviet, Senior Marketing Director, International at the California Walnut Commission (CWC), commented on the harvest:
“The growing season began with heavy rains delaying bloom, followed by a fairly mild summer. Cooler conditions increased kernel size and overall quality. As with any natural product, weather plays a big part in production from year to year. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s annual Walnut Objective Measurement report, we’re anticipating a slightly smaller crop than last year, but over the past ten years, our crop size has doubled to meet the growing demand.”
The Californian Walnut industry has invested in research for the past 50 years developing and testing technologies for the future of walnut farming, including improved orchard management, entomology, plant pathology and nematology. As well as breeding through time-honoured traditions – no GMO – to develop stronger, more pest and disease resistant trees as well as new varieties.
CALIFORNIA WALNUTS’ VISION FOR THE UK
Peter Meadows from The Garden Marketing & PR, the trade representative for California Walnuts in the UK, says:
“Our goal is to convey to the market that California Walnuts offer a number of attributes, over other origins – great taste, consistency, ideal for flavouring and texture profiles, always high in quality and available all year. California Walnuts are so incredibly flexible, they can enhance the taste and texture of a wide range of products. We want the trade to understand why they should specify California as their origin of choice”.
The trend towards more plant-based eating has undoubtedly helped garner further interest in nuts generally, California Walnuts’ versatility makes them perfectly positioned to take advantage of these NPD trends in the UK in the future. Meadows continues:
“We are actively working with retailers to launch new walnut-based products in the UK. As these gather momentum over the remainder of the year, our ultimate aim is to tell consumers that there are a variety of ways to enjoy California Walnuts besides snacking and in baking, the more traditional uses for the product.”
The UK is an important market for California Walnuts and a number of trade initiatives continue to inspire and encourage the UK food industry to use more California Walnuts:
CWC GIVES HOME BARGAINS A BOOST
Promotional activity helped to give Home Bargains’ customers a welcome boost during September in 225 stores. The successful national promotion across three California Walnut SKU’s, both individually and in mixes, delivered an impressive uplift of over 50%. It was reported that the pre-ordering pipe fill was a record for such a promotion.
SPECIALITY & FINE FOOD FAIR 2019
California Walnuts welcomed and encouraged visitors to ‘Be Inspired’ at the 20th Anniversary Speciality & Fine Food Fair in London in September.
Elena Attanasio, Speciality & Fine Food Fair’s Event Manager, commented:
“Nuts are a major component of both the healthy eating and plant-based movement – we were very pleased to welcome California Walnuts back to the Fair.”
Visitors were treated to a first-hand experience of their superior quality, unique taste and versatility. The California Walnut Commission showcased a variety of retail products, offering the opportunity to sample California Walnuts and discover what makes them so special.
Also at the Fair, CWC supported Whitworths’ launch of a new range of snacks under the Gloriously Grown brand. Featuring the California Red ‘Livermore’ variety Walnuts and Sorbet Raisins these snacks were displayed on the California Walnut stand.
BAKO WESTERN TRADE DAY
On Sunday 13th October the California Walnut Commission attended the popular Bako Western trade day in Cullompton, Devon to promote California Walnuts to the bakery trade. The event brings together over 500 suppliers and key buyers. Visitors to CWC’s booth were invited to sample a selection of products containing California Walnuts, such as the Lemon & California Walnut Drizzle Cake.
BAKO is one of the largest ingredient suppliers to the UK baking and food-to-go industry. The annual BAKO Western trade event aims to facilitate trade in and around the West Country and offer seasonal price incentives. Within the range BAKO supplies California Walnuts – as halves, pieces and nibbed in light and light amber. Nick Richardson from The Garden Marketing & PR, commented:
“California Walnuts partnered with the Western Region Craft Bakers Association Bakery Championships 2019 supporting the new competition category, California Walnut, Cheese & Olive Bread. Contestants were invited to produce their best Walnut, Cheese and Olive Bread, weighing in at 600g.” Judging took place by the Western Region CBA during the annual open day, with prizes awarded from 1st to 4th place. The winner of the California Walnuts bread category was Bridgewater based Somerset Bakehouse.
INSPIRING GOOD HEALTH
The CWC actively promotes California Walnuts’ benefits to the UK trade and consumers through a wide range of marketing activities. A key part of the strategy is supporting health research and publicising California Walnuts’ numerous health benefits.
For over 25 years the CWC has supported health-related research on walnuts, investing close to $20 million in 11 countries and working with more than 55 institutions and universities. Over 160 scientific publications have helped provide knowledge and understanding of the unique health benefits associated with consuming walnuts. The results support health claims in the EU and the US.
California Walnuts’ research resulted in the EU confirming the EFSA-approved health claim that ‘a 30g handful of walnuts a day, as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, can have a positive effect on the elasticity of the blood vessels and can thus help with keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.’
FOOD MATTERS LIVE!
Looking ahead to November, CWC will be exhibiting at the Food Matters Live exhibition from 19-20th November, taking place at London ExCeL. California Walnuts will be the official supporter of the Plant-Based Pavilion 2019 and will feature in a pre-event Q&A in the organiser’s ‘Table Talk’ online publication, mailed to 70,000 trade contacts.
The focus will be on encouraging the industry to view California Walnuts in a different light and appreciate how they can be used in a variety of ways.
Visit CWC at stand H18.