As the weather in Britain turns wintry, the outlook for California Walnuts continues to be bright and sunny. California Walnuts’ shipments to the UK, which are measured from 1st September to 31st August, concluded the year with a strong final month at 808,655 lbs, up 58% on 2017.

It’s been a busy few months all round for California Walnuts, the California walnut industry’s consumer and trade marketing organisation. A key part of their UK communications activity involves supporting health research into walnuts’ contribution to disease prevention and maintenance. This summer saw California Walnuts enter a high profile and mutually beneficial link-up with HEART UK – The Cholesterol Charity. And in October in London California Walnuts hosted Britain’s first-ever scientific and health research meeting specifically focusing on the health and nutritional benefits of walnuts.

The campaign for California Walnuts in the UK continues into its second year, offering the market a consistently high quality, versatile, great tasting ‘super nut’ popular with retail and trade users alike. Recent highlights include retail promotions with Tesco, and a bakery industry event in Devon with Bako Western, one of the baking and food-to-go industry’s largest ingredient suppliers. And looking ahead a few weeks, the end of November sees California Walnuts return to the Food Matters Live show at London ExCeL, a very successful event for the brand last year.

It’s official…California Walnuts are good for heart health

This summer HEART UK – The Cholesterol Charity, gave California Walnuts their heart-healthy seal of approval, following rigorous checks from experts in nutrition, blood fats and the food industry. One of the keys to California Walnuts’ cardiovascular benefits is their fatty acid content. They are the only tree nut that are a rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, vital for good heart health.

HEART UK provides support, guidance and education services to healthcare professionals and people with concerns about cholesterol. With more than half of UK adults having raised cholesterol, it’s essential that consumers are educated as to which foods are best for heart health, and for lowering cholesterol.

Linda Main, Dietetic Adviser at HEART UK, comments: “Coronary heart disease remains one of the UK’s leading causes of death. High cholesterol is a primary risk factor and we recommend eating a diet where foods high in saturated fats are replaced by foods containing more unsaturated fats.

Foods such as California Walnuts are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and a 30g handful provides a generous helping of essential omega 3 fats. We’re delighted to have approved this food and encourage everyone to snack on a handful every day.”

Commenting on the Charity’s recognition, Pamela Graviet, Senior International Marketing Director of the California Walnut Board and Commission, says: “California Walnuts are plant-based nutritional powerhouses, packed with good fats, essential omega-3s and lots of vitamins and minerals. As one of the UK’s leading heart health charities, HEART UK’s seal of approval will be pivotal in encouraging everyone to include a handful a day as a snack or in a meal, which will help keep their taste buds satisfied and their cholesterol in check.”

California Walnuts at Bako Western The California Walnut Commission (CWC) actively engages with the UK bakery industry, raising awareness of California Walnuts as high quality ingredients for retail and foodservice products. Sunday 14th October saw CWC attend the popular Bako Western trade day at BAKO’s Cullompton depot in Devon to promote California Walnuts to the bakery trade.

Visitors to the CWC booth were able to sample a selection of Christmas products containing California Walnuts and baked by distinguished bakery company Burts Biscuits and Cakes Ltd. They were also able to take away recipe ideas, taste the various products on display and receive sample packs of California Walnuts.

BAKO is one of the largest ingredient suppliers to the baking and food-to-go industry and supplies California Walnuts as halves, pieces and nibbed in light and light Amber, with the main box sizes in 3.5 kg and 12.5 kg.

The annual BAKO Western trade event brings together suppliers and key buyers and is specifically aimed at existing customers to help facilitate trade and offer seasonal price incentives. Previous BAKO Western trade days have attracted over 500 visitors and reports on buying have shown sales increase upwards of 8% across the range of products available.

For the CWC, the objective for attending the event was to encourage both existing and new buyers of BAKO products to specify California Walnuts by origin and ultimately to increase product sales.

Nick Richardson from The Garden Marketing & PR, the trade representative for California Walnuts in the UK, says:

“California Walnuts offer an enticing mix of quality, value and versatility. The California sun gives our walnuts a consistently unique creamy texture and flavour, they’re so incredibly flexible that they can enhance the taste and texture of baked goods and can brighten up classic products like muffins and coffee cake.”

California Walnuts in Tesco

California Walnuts ran a nationwide promotion with Tesco in September, promoting 200g Tesco-branded bags of California Walnuts in 400 Tesco superstores and online. Final figures are awaited but the anticipated volume uplift from the 3-week promotion is expected to increase and further activity is being discussed for the remainder of 2018. In the meantime, Tesco.com is carrying promotional banners for California Walnuts and a promotional shelf talker is live in store, featuring California Walnuts.

Further trade activity with other retailers is planned for 2019.

Walnuts keeping us healthy

California Walnut Commission (CWC) hosted the first-ever Scientific and Health Research Meeting in London in October, to discuss the role of walnuts in disease prevention and maintenance. The interactive programme involved renowned researchers and medical professionals participating in sessions on general nutrition and dietary recommendations, cardiovascular health, Mediterranean diet and cognitive health. The sessions provided updates on existing health and nutrition projects together with some specific insights about the CWC health research programme, research and initiatives.

The CWC has been actively promoting the benefits of walnuts to UK consumers through marketing activities that highlight walnuts’ California origin, quality, taste and health. Walnuts’ health benefits have been demonstrated through over 150 peerreviewed publications and leading food and nutrition groups and associations often cite scientific research supported by CWC as a model for wholefoods research. Research findings have shown walnuts’ benefits in health issues such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diseases of aging and diabetes.

California Walnuts return to Food Matters Live

Following California Walnuts’ successful presence at Food Matters Live last year, the brand is back for this year’s show, taking place at London ExCeL from November 20-22. Come and meet the team on Stand 222.

The message for the show is that California Walnuts offer an excellent balance of attributes – great taste, ideal for flavouring and texture profiles, always high quality and all-year availability – the versatile nut that uniquely offers cognitive, heart and health benefits.

The central valley in California provide ideal conditions to sustainably grow superior walnuts. Walnuts from California are generally lighter in colour and have a sweet-mild taste with a soft texture, which makes them a versatile ingredient for flavour profiles in recipes and processed products. California Walnuts go through stringent growing and handling processes, which set them apart from other walnuts in the market. Each step in the production process is handled with care, commitment and patience.

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