A Perspective on the Growth of the Almond Industry
“Prior to 1998 it was a fairly flat in terms of production growth and then this huge trajectory started and it really is when you look back at the data surrounded by all the nutrition research we did, the shifts towards snacking in our advertising that helped fuel that,” Fleischmann said.
And remarkably almond prices did go up. “Very happily we were able to keep prices moving upwards, to help navigate the trends of cost increases. But what's most amazing is when you think about the fact that the price has increased at the same time, supply was increasing, which generally doesn't happen,” she noted.
And consumers turning to almonds as a snack item catapulted the category. “Consumers changed the ways they were eating at that point in time, shifting to having three very structured meals a day to adding in-between snacks,” explained Fleischmann. “And we felt like there was an opportunity to capitalize on that. And not only did that work with consumers behaviors, but it also works for the almond industry because, when we're encouraging consumers to eat a handful of almonds, it moves a lot more volume than sprinklings almonds on your yogurt.”
And most of us remember pre 2000, when fat was evil. “Almonds and all nuts have fat, and people thought that almonds had cholesterol. Those were misperceptions that through research we were able to help correct presumptions, and now almonds are viewed as heart healthy,” noted Fleishmann.