Walnut Community

Thanks to travel, technology and innovation, the world is getting smaller and packaged ethnic food categories are more readily accessible than ever before. Global cuisine and ingredients have emerged as powerful influencers on consumers, especially in a time where many restaurants are shuttered and consumers are looking to buy or make something unique to escape daily routines.

Manufacturers are answering the call of trending global flavors and cuisines with tasty products, and California walnuts fit perfectly with these packaged foods that deliver international flair. In these products, these three trends are guiding new product developments.

Trend No. 1: Taste

Consumers want pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction in their food, and unique flavor combinations provide a needed sensory experience in global cuisine. “By adopting a different concept of flavor … the search for pleasure can also be seen as a way to repress boredom and modern era wave of depression or even as a hobby,” Global Food World Magazine says.

Walnuts’ flavor versatility can be represented in a multitude of global flavors. They can be paired with sweet ingredients in products such as terrazzo and baklava. Or, they can be pureed and used in savory condiments such as pesto. In spicy cuisines, walnuts can be seasoned and used in entrées. Today’s consumers are willing — and eager — to be wowed by new flavors, and light walnuts can be incorporated into dishes that convey earthy notes and milk flavor, while amber walnuts have a more robust flavor profile and a slightly sweet finish.

Trend No. 2: Diet-Driven Decisions

The effort to eat more nutritious foods has not been a U.S.-centric trend. In fact, healthy eating has impacted all corners of the world and global packaged foods are following suit. One diet that has been on trend for years is the Mediterranean diet. Global Food World Magazine reports that “consumers increasingly pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, made up of healthy dietary choices, which also explains why in recent years Mediterranean diet has become the norm on healthy eating across the globe.”

Walnuts play a starring role in the Mediterranean diet due to the nut’s unique fat profile. Walnuts are the only nut that offer an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), at 2.5 grams per ounce. Based on findings from a literature review, ALA may be as effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as marine-derived omega-3s have been shown to be.

Trend No. 3: Authenticity

Consumers want to understand the story behind their food and flavors, which relates back to Innova’s No. 1 trend for 2020 announced earlier this year: storytelling. Transparency and authenticity are keys to consumers’ hearts — and stomachs. Kalsec, a food manufacturer based in Michigan, says in its 2020 Food Prediction report that flavors from around the world are becoming familiar in different regions, and “consumers want authentic versions of these global flavors.”

They expect more from global cuisines at both restaurants and in packaged products, “meaning manufacturers have pushed for transparency and authenticity with more specific regional flavors in well-known cuisines.” As Americans start familiarizing themselves more and more with global cuisines, expectations in authenticity will become central in purchase decisions and flavor choices.

So, what does this mean for products containing walnuts? Luckily, as Kalsec reports, region-specific global flavors from Africa, Japan, the Middle East and Mexico topped the Meta Trends 2020 list. And, products with global influences that contain walnuts are readily accessible here in the United States. We’ve compiled a few of our favorites:


Noci Bella Walnut Terrazzo, Noci Foods

Noci Bella’s Walnut Terrazzo is a traditional Italian sweet good made from walnuts, clover honey, maple syrup and sea salt. The product can be served with a cheese board, paired with a wine or noshed with coffee or tea for a delightful Italian-influenced flavor pairing.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti, DeLallo

Meaning “twice-baked” in Italian, biscotti are carefully crafted for a sweet, buttery flavor and golden crunch. DeLallo’s offering is shaped, cut and packed by hand for an authentic experience mimicking the artisanal tradition of the Italian-based cookie. They’re made with crunchy, chopped walnuts and chewy, dried cranberries.

Cranberry Walnut Biscotti, DeLallo
Banana Walnut Overnight Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, Zen Monkey

Banana Walnut Overnight Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt, Zen Monkey

We head to the Mediterranean for influence in this unique non-fat Greek yogurt oatmeal from Zen Monkey. Crunchy walnut pieces are blended with pureed bananas, apple juice, oatmeal and cane sugar for a ready-to-eat packaged, refrigerated yogurt. Love banana bread? You’ll love this inspired treat.

Turmeric & Smoked Paprika Nuts & Seeds, Boundless

Turmeric and paprika hail from India, Jamaica, Africa and a multitude of other countries, and Boundless has used this spice blend to create a truly global snack with walnuts, maple syrup, turmeric, salt, smoked paprika and Aleppo flakes.

Turmeric & Smoked Paprika Nuts & Seeds, Boundless
Chocolate Reishi Nut Butter, Butterfly Superfoods

Chocolate Reishi Nut Butter, Butterfly Superfoods

Native to Europe and Asia, Reishi mushrooms have been revered in China for thousands of years, and thanks to Butterfly Superfoods, the mushroom can now be enjoyed in a blended nut butter spread. Walnuts are the start of the blend and combine with cacao butter, MCT oil, reishi mushroom powder, vanilla extract, unrefined sea salt, cinnamon and monk fruit for a globally inspired spread.

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