Confectioners turn to almonds
New products highlight healthy and delicious attributes of the fruit
A spoonful of sugar seems to be helping the almonds go down these days.
The latest data shows that almonds are most likely to be introduced to consumers via confectionery products in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, according to the 2011 Global New Product Introductions Innova Report, released by the Almond Board of California.
And, companies in every sector seem to be catching to their appeal — total global almond introductions grew 5.6% from 2010 to 2011.
Justin’s, an all-natural and organic confectioner from Boulder, Colo., has definitely contributed to the trend. Although they’re known for their nut butters, Justin’s recently released a Milk Chocolate Almond Bar. Made with caramel, nougat and Fairtrade organic chocolate, the bar contains both almond pieces and Justin’s almond butter.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn, N.Y.-confectioner Tumbador is using almonds to spice up its spring 2012 line, marketing research firm Mintel says. The company launched its Holy Molébar, a dark chocolate bar with toffee, molé mix and toasted almonds.
The almond trend is not reserved just for American chocolatiers, though. Swiss confectioners have also recently launched a variety of almond-based sweets.
Chocolat Stella, for example, introduced an almond bar with its Organic By Nature 50 g. snack-sized line. Made with organic milk chocolate and roasted almonds, this bar stands apart from the Swiss confectioner’s original line of 100 g. bars.
Similarly, Villars has also incorporated almonds into Swiss milk chocolate for one of its newest launches. The chocolatier’s Nougat Milk Almond bars contain toasted whole almonds, of course, but they are paired with fruit and honey nougat chips.
Although Toblerone has previously used almonds in its triangular treats, the chocolatier’s newest creation also uses the nuts in combination with nougat. The Crunch Almond bar, made with Swiss milk chocolate, salted caramelized almonds, honey and almond nougat, is packed with almond flavor, and like Villar’s bar, the almonds are paired with honey.
As these products find success on store shelves, the long-standing partnership between candy makers and almonds continues to take on an even more creative relationship.