Walnut Community

You don’t need a nutcracker to see that walnuts have burst onto the grocery store shelf scene unlike any other year. The growth in versatile uses, trendsetting innovation and food themes throughout 2021 were all incorporated into new product releases that use our favorite nut as a key ingredient. We’re feeling nostalgic, so we’ve rounded up our top made-with-walnuts products that have inspired manufacturers to take walnut inclusion even further in 2022.

The Keto Trend

Earlier this year, Food Navigator shared a story that asked the question: Is keto tipping to the mainstream? And, if the rest of 2021 was any indication, this diet trend has staying power. The global keto diet market is predicted to grow from $10.3 billion in 2018 to $17.8 billion by 2026, according to Flor Markets. Ian Hills, of marketing agency Purple Pilchard, told Food Navigator that he cannot remember an “underground buzz like the one ketogenic is currently sowing.” The high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet is one that we saw displayed through a number of made-with-walnuts products this year. So much in fact that “keto” became the buzzword in product names and on packaging.

Our keto product pick:

Grain-Free Apple Walnut Keto Granola Clusters, Purely Elizabeth

Purely Elizabeth added to its granola portfolio with Grain-Free Apple Walnut Keto Granola Clusters. The granola is gluten-free and non-GMO verified, and uses walnuts mixed with coconut sugar, dried apples, coconut flakes, cashew butter, cinnamon, sea salt and MCT oil for a powerhouse keto combination. Each serving contains 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Seeking Transparency

Innova Market Insights’ Top 10 Trends of 2021 named transparency as its No. 1 trend for 2021, thanks to “heightened consumer interest” in environmental concerns and sustainability in food production. More than 80% of consumers said traceable ingredients are of major importance, and they’re looking for natural components in their foods. Plant-based ingredients, cleaner labels, simpler formulas and clearer traceability have led product developers to not only clean up their label lists, but display ingredients much more clearly and center stage on packaging.

Our transparency product pick:

Banana Nut Bread Meal Bar, ProBar

We first saw this bar at Sweets & Snacks Expo, and noted how the made-with-walnuts bar displays its ingredients right there on the packaging. Walnuts and bananas are clearly displayed, along with “whole superfoods” verbiage, and the ingredients list is chock-full of traceable items, right down to the walnuts.

Mega Omega-3

Walnuts are the only nut that provide a significant source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and it was a mega year for these healthy fats. Our bodies don’t make this type of fat, and both product developers and consumers took notice. This was reflected in more products than ever displaying their omega-3 content on the packaging. Mordor Intelligence predicts that the global omega-3 products market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% from 2020 to 2025, due in part to made-with-walnuts products.

Our omega-3 product pick:

Mega Omega-3 Mix, Paradise Valley/Nutty Naturals

Also displayed at Sweets & Snacks Expo was the all-natural Mega Omega-3 Mix, which comes in a multipack of seven individual servings. It’s perfect for an on-the-go snack boost throughout the day, with walnuts, cranberries, raisins and pepitas as part of its pared-down ingredients list, sure to satisfy consumers who are also looking for transparency.

Walnuts’ Growth in Versatility

We have seen walnuts in 2021 like we’ve never seen before. Sure, we’re used to seeing them in cookies and bread or as salad toppers. But we are now seeing them used “as” something. Walnuts are now the “meat” in center-of-plate entrées like ravioli or the “chorizo” in tacos. And, as we saw in a new release in June, walnuts are also a hearty ingredient used in plant-based, vegan sauce.

Our versatile product pick:


Walnut Mushroom Bolognese Sauce, Komo Comfort Foods

Slow-simmered walnuts, cremini mushrooms and red lentils are combined in a tomato sauce with basil, oregano, garlic and red chili flakes. It’s gluten-free, soy-free and filled with flavor. This 100% plant-based sauce is part of Komo’s mission “to share the love of plant-based foods and make plant-based meals a staple on every dinner table.”

For more 2021 made-with-walnuts product releases, visit https://walnuts.org/blog/walnut-community/

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