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Almond Trends

Developing recipes and products with California almonds satisfies consumer demand. Their distinctive taste works perfectly with consumers’ favourite flavour profiles, and since almonds are nutrient dense, they help consumers power through their day.

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 incrediblevsource of inspiration for food professionals. Almonds offer culinarians a practical, plant-based ingredient that serves as a staple across different parts of the day, cuisines, and formats.

An exceptionally exciting way to build flavour 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 the distinctive crunch and flavour that consumers crave but can also act as a substitute for other ingredients in dairy-free or gluten-free adaptations on your menu.

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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.

Almond Butter

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 the 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

New product introductions of dairy alternatives grew 13% in 20181. 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 flavours 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 yogurts 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 almonds?1 Utilise 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 1 ingredient in global consumers’ ideal chocolate products, and according to consumers, almonds make chocolate crunchier (85%) and more nutritious (84%.)3 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 to 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 number1 texture claim among almond introductions in bars.1

Almond Oil

Almond oil lends a uniquely nutty, toasty flavour to just about anything –from cakes and cookies to chips, muffins, popcorn snacks, and breads. Add the rich, amaretto-like flavour 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 insides as part of a composed salad, plain with a bit of sea salt, or pickle them for use year-round.

Natural or Blanched?

Whilst natural almond shave 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, slivers/halves, and diced/chopped almonds are all available natural or blanched. Roasting brings out the flavour and colour of blanched almonds, while natural almonds have the well-known nutty flavour and are suitable for all-around use.

Almond roasting.

Almond roasting emphasises the natural attributes of almonds –deepening the colour and flavour profile, and creating a crispier, crunchier texture. Remember to package almonds properly by removing oxygen from the packaging environment, either through nitrogen flushing or a 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. Global Chocolate Study. Sterling Rice Group. 2018.

Snack Nuts Evolve with Changing Tastes, from Innova Market Insights