Natural Sweetening

California Raisins are a 100% natural way for food formulators to impart the sweetness everyone loves—without artificial or added sugar. Grown naturally in California by more than 2,000 family farmers, raisins are made from grapes sweetened only by the sun and have no added sugar or additional ingredients. Raisins add sweetness to products the way nature intended and therefore don’t count as “Added Sugar” on package nutrition labels. In addition to naturally sun-dried raisins, raisin juice concentrate and raisin paste are functional ways extend shelf life, add color, texture and more. This little superfruit has many benefits.

— California Raisins,

Almonds Power Global CPG Growth

According to new data from Innova Market Insights, almonds experienced double-digit growth (+13% in 2019, with 12,206 new products with almonds introduced globally. For the first time, dairy joined confectionery, snacks, bakery and bars as one of the top five categories for new product introductions with almonds, experiencing 19% growth (934 new products) compared to 2018. In North America, the third largest region for almond introductions, almonds are the top nut type for new product introductions in the bar, snacks, bakery and dairy categories. Bars is the biggest category for almonds with 24% of introductions. Almonds hold the highest share of total regional food and nut introductions in North America.

—Almond Board of California,

Clean Snacking

Consumers want to find conveniently packaged, healthful foods when they shop for their next snack purchase. Freeze-dried fruit and vegetable snacks deliver clean label claims that make them a favorite among mommy Influencers and sports nutrition users alike. Van Drunen Farms is one of the largest growers, manufacturers, and suppliers of freeze-dried, drum-dried and frozen specialty products in the industry. It offers a wide range of fruit ingredients. The fresh flavor, shelf-stability, retained nutritional value, and piece identity all mean that consumers do not have to sacrifice convenience for health.

—Van Drunen Farms,

Enhance New Products

Walnuts are gaining in popularity with food and beverage manufacturers in categories ranging from bakery to dairy due to the nut’s ability to deliver flavor, texture and nutritious products. Plus, walnuts allow product developers to formulate products that are both healthy and indulgent. In a 2019 consumer survey, taste was cited as the #1 reason for consuming walnuts. In addition, 90% of consumers recognize walnuts as a healthy food and 78% said the health benefits positively impacted their purchase decision. With an ingredient like walnuts, product developers don’t have to choose between nutrition and indulgence, they can have both!

—California Walnut Commission,

Choose Chocolate

Increasingly, consumers crave food that offers an experience, seeking out new, innovative products that stimulate their senses with tempting aromas, Instagram-worthy appearances, and unique textures. To help brands accommodate those sensory expectations, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate offers a broad range of inclusions, available in a wide range of shapes and sizes to fit a variety of application needs, including chips, squares, chunks and even random cuts for an artisan aesthetic. Palate-pleasing flavors abound, too, with milk, dark and white chocolate options, along with butterscotch, peanut butter, and cinnamon.

—Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate,

Health Appeal

A “go-to” for new healthy eating options, fruit comes in many different forms—from fresh, puréed, dried particles to juice concentrates. For instance, bars, are a very popular snack item that are convenient, can be nutritious and are available for all ages. Dried fruits can be mixed with a variety of items to create such bars and can help to bind water, add sweetness and fiber (naturally) or for flavor. Fruits, in all forms, are great as stand-alone items, such all-natural air-dried pieces or they can be added to other snacks like trail mixes, yogurts, drinks, ice creams, and salads. Tree Top’s R&D team develops hundreds of innovative concepts. Visit our application section for a starting point for your next project.

—Tree Top,

On-Trend Taste, Benefits

As the line between meals and snacks continues to blur, consumer expectations for convenient eating have grown beyond “quick and easy” to products that also offer taste, satiety, energy and other health benefits. Additionally, there is a growing need for the innovation of beverages that can serve as snacks.  U.S. grown Montmorency tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen, canned, juice and concentrate forms, making them readily accessible for food and beverage manufacturers as a versatile, nutritious ingredient for new product innovations. Montmorency tart cherries are linked to multiple potential health benefits and provide an on-trend sour flavor that gives consumers a new taste to discover and enjoy. These ruby-red orbs have recently been included in a variety of new products, cropping up in protein bars, energy bites, sports drinks, snack mixes and more.

—Cherry Industry Administrative Board,

Sustainable, Plant-Based Protein

As the pandemic started to take hold earlier this year, demand for peanut and peanut butter products skyrocketed. Given that peanuts are an affordable, comforting, and satisfying food, it makes sense that consumers would stock their pantry with them. Peanut products have always provided a familiar flavor that people love, and hearty nutrition—from plant-based protein and fiber to good fats—that people crave. They are also a sustainable ingredient because they require less water to grow than other nuts, and can fix their own nitrogen, which reduces their need for added fertilizer. And consumers know that peanuts are a great source of sustainable, plant-based nutrition. In a recent survey commissioned by the National Peanut Board, more than one-third of Millennial respondents said that they would be more likely to purchase a grocery or menu item if it contained peanuts.

—National Peanut Board,