With over 300 days of sunshine, the perfect weather and rich soil of California’s Central Valley provide ideal conditions to grow premium walnuts. California Walnuts are generally lighter in colour with a mild taste and a soft creamy texture. California Walnuts undergo stringent handling processes, helping to set them apart from those produced in other origins. The California Walnut Industry has also maintained an exceptional food safety record for a century.
California Walnuts officially classify as a superfood, having won the ‘Best Superfood’ Gold Award in The Healthy Food & Drink Awards 2019. In addition, California walnuts have spent over $17m on health research and walnuts since over the years.
The organisation’s investment in health research resulted in the EU confirming the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved claim that a daily 30g handful of walnuts can have a positive effect on blood vessels’ elasticity maintaining cardiovascular health, as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. According to the European Society of cardiology it is estimated that in there are 85 million people in the EU suffering with cardiovascular disease.
“In addition to their numerous health benefits, California Walnuts offer a number of attributes over other origins - great taste, consistency, outstanding food safety, ideal flavour and texture profiles, consistent high quality, exceptional food safety, and year-round availability. We want the trade to understand why they should specify California as the origin of choice,” says Peter Meadows, director of the Garden Marketing & PR agency which represents the California Walnuts Commission’s interests in the UK.
“Together with the California Walnut Commission (CWC) we actively promote California Walnuts and their many benefits to the UK trade and consumers via a range of marketing initiatives, inspiring and encouraging them to use more California Walnuts”.
Recent highlights of these activities include promotions with Tesco, Sainsburys, Home Bargains and Costco, plus a range of supporting advertising and PR. With UK consumers welcoming new flavours and ingredients, walnut-based products are seeing increasing success.
More nut butters are using California Walnuts as an ingredient and awareness is rising in the UK. BNUTZ, the artisan nut butter producer, created a product with California Walnuts as a core ingredient. BNUTZ use premium organic ingredients, ethically sourced and free from palm oil, preservatives and refined sugar. In mainland Europe, California Walnuts have made headway with leading food manufacturers, integrating walnuts into cheeses, yoghurts, premium confectionery.
Looking ahead, according to research by the Vegan Society, there are around 600,000 vegans in Great Britain. Up from 150,000 in 2006, and there are twice as many women than men who are vegan. The growing trend towards plant-based eating in the UK and Europe is attracting further interest in nuts generally, and California Walnuts’ versatility makes the organisation perfectly positioned to take advantage of this trend.
California walnuts are nutrient-dense, rich in vitamins and minerals, and are the only tree nut offering an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid. One of the best plant sources of omega-3s, 30g of walnuts provides 2.7g of ALA, 4g of protein and 2g of fibre.
“There are many ways to enjoy California Walnuts, not only in the more traditional uses like snacks and baking, but in exciting new dishes and products. Our role is to show consumers how to use them more and more in everyday dishes and show them how walnuts are truly one of the most versatile nuts on the market,” concludes Meadows.
Why California Walnuts?
Despite the recent challenging global situation, the California walnut industry continues its commitment to producing high-quality, nutritious and safe walnuts for consumers worldwide. The California Walnut Industry has earned a reputation for producing high quality walnuts while maintaining an exceptional food safety record for a century. California Walnuts are grown, harvested, and processed following strict Federal and State food safety regulations. The finished product often exceeds quality standards set by the USDA. California Walnuts have tremendous versatility and can be used in a variety of ways. For recipe ideas and inspiration visit the website.