Sam Greenberg, principal of The Naturals Cooperative, represented Blue Diamond Growers at the meeting held in Tokyo. He noted that shifting consumer attitudes towards carbohydrates, fats, and meat—across various countries and geographic zones—are giving way to new dietary trends. These include the rise of the ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carb regimen that supports rapid weight loss. Worldwide, the popularity of plant-based and vegan diets is increasing, creating new opportunities for established plant protein sources like almonds.
Globally, products making plant-based claim have increased 62% from 2013 to 2017, according to data from Innova Market Insights. In the U.S., 30% of adults are attempting to make the switch to a more plant-based diet.
The presentation also highlighted data important to the attending R&D formulators and developers interested in almond protein powder’s macro- and micronutrients, including protein content, insoluble dietary fiber, fat content, and its unique mineral profile. Detailed comparatives to other protein sources like, rice, pea, and whey were also reviewed, demonstrating the beneficial attributes of almond protein.
“Almond Protein Powder sits at the intersection of the most dominant global dietary trends of this decade,” noted Mr. Greenberg. “With Almond Protein Powder, product developers can capitalize on consumers’ well-established trust in the health and taste of almonds, as well as the shift towards high protein and plant-based diets.”
Due to their reputation as a heart-healthy ingredient, almonds and products containing almonds continue to yield premium prices at grocery stores around the world. According to the 2017 Almond Board of California Global Perception Survey, 63% of U.S. consumers report a willingness to pay more for an almond product. In China, where demand for the nut is increasing, 58% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for almonds. In India, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product with almonds.
“Our research has shown that existing consumer perception of almonds is reliably transferred to Almond Protein Powder,” said Jeff Smith, director of marketing for Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division. “Importantly, product developers recognize Blue Diamond Almond Protein Powder as a value-added ingredient, one that contributes many other functional benefits to a formulation in addition to protein.”
Blue Diamond Almond Protein Powder is an excellent source of fiber and important minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and zinc. The ingredient also has a higher omega-9 rich fat content than other proteins, which contributes to a smoother mouthfeel, a clean taste, and a more rounded flavor profile. The powder is ideal in a protein blend, where it can be used as a flavor masking agent to offset undesirable flavors, such as “earthy” notes in pea protein and soy protein.
These attributes are especially important for product developers who want to appeal to a label-conscious consumer. Globally, the market for clean-label ingredients is expected to reach $47.5 billion by 2023, according to Research and Markets. Data from Mintel shows that 62% of U.S. consumers agree that the fewer ingredients a product has, the healthier it is.
“Blue Diamond Almond Protein Powder compliments a wide variety of food and beverage applications, including protein smoothies and shakes, bars and powdered nutritional products. Whether used as a primary ingredient or within a protein blend, Almond Protein Powder is an ideal component to any clean-label, nutritionally focused product being developed anywhere in the world,” Mr. Smith concluded.