California Walnuts’ latest UK shipments show a year-onyear increase of over 37% for ‘shelled’ imports, an uplift of 1,745,775 lbs or nearly 792 metric tonnes.

Imports of ‘shelled’ California Walnuts during the period 1.9.2018- 31.3.2019 totalled 6,381,905 lbs versus 4,636,130 lbs in 2017-18, the third biggest increase in Europe [California Walnut Commission Shipment figures].

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) actively promotes California Walnuts’ benefits to UK trade and consumers through various export marketing initiatives, inspiring and encouraging them to use more California Walnuts.

Enjoy the quality, feel the health Now in its third year the California Walnut Commission’s UK campaign offers the market a consistently high quality, versatile, great tasting ‘super nut’. Recent highlights include promotions with Tesco and other major retailers, attending key trade exhibitions, among them the biennial IFE, the UK’s largest food show, plus trade advertising and PR. A key focus of the UK activity is supporting California Walnuts’ health research findings and highlighting their health benefits.

California Walnuts officially classify as a superfood, having won the ‘Best Superfood’ Gold Award in The Healthy Food & Drink Awards 2019. California Walnuts’ health research has resulted in the EU confirming the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved claim that a daily 30g handful of walnuts can have a positive effect on blood vessels’ elasticity and keeping the cardiovascular system healthy, as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Peter Meadows from The Garden (Marketing & PR) is California Walnuts’ UK trade representative. He told Grocery Trader: “California Walnuts offer various superior attributes over other origins – great taste, consistency, ideal flavour and texture profiles, consistent high quality, and year-round availability. Incredibly flexible, they also enhance the taste and texture of a wide range of products. We want the trade to understand why they should specify California as the origin of choice.”

Walnut-based foods doing well

With UK consumers welcoming new flavours and ingredients, walnut-based products are seeing increasing success. More nut butters are using California Walnuts as an ingredient and awareness is rising among trade and consumers.

The UK CWC team has recently been working with BNUTZ, the artisan nut butter producer, creating a product with California Walnuts as a core ingredient. BNUTZ use premium organic ingredients, ethically sourced and free from palm oil, preservatives and refined sugar.

CWC representative Nick Richardson commented: “BNUTZ founder Bianca Avory was keen to use California Walnuts as a base ingredient, for their health benefits and superior taste and texture. They are nutrient-dense, rich in vitamins and minerals, and the only tree nut offering an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plantbased omega-3 essential fatty acid. One of the best plant sources of omega-3s, 30g of walnuts provides 2.7g of ALA, 4g of protein and 2g of fibre.”

The resulting product, BNUTZ’s ‘Espresso Nut Butter – Made with California Walnuts’, has a rich dark chocolate taste with subtle caramel sweetness and creaminess from the California Walnuts, adding up to a truly unique flavour. Look out for the launch in the coming months.

In the UK a range of cereal bar manufacturers are now using California Walnuts as ingredients. Various cereal manufacturers are also interested in increasing their mixes and nutritional profiles with California Walnuts. One of these is muesli-granola manufacturer Rolla Granola, who launched their California Walnut, Oat Granola in 2018. On pack, Rolla Granola are proud to advise that their product has over 30% nuts and advocate that California Walnuts are the best and that’s why they are proud to work directly with the California Walnut farmers.

Rolla Granola’s exciting California Walnut, Oat Granola offers consumers a ‘double bubble’ of healthy eating goodness. The deliciously different cereal combines California Walnuts’ high nutrition content with the health benefits of oats, which are vegan and gluten free with no added sugar. Attributes that have boosted their inclusion in healthy breakfast and snacking foods.

In mainland Europe, California Walnuts have made headway with leading food manufacturers, developing nut butters and integrating walnuts into cheeses, yoghurts, chocolates and confectionery.

Looking ahead, the growing trend towards plant-based eating in the UK and Europe is garnering further interest in nuts, and California Walnuts’ versatility makes them perfectly positioned to take advantage.

“Our ultimate aim,” Peter Meadows concluded, “is to highlight the many ways you can enjoy California Walnuts, not only as snacks and in baking, the more traditional uses, but in exciting new dishes and products.”

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