The US nut market saw its volume sales increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2% in 2011.
Almonds are expected to be the best performing category in the US through to 2016, growing at a CAGR of 16%, followed by walnuts with gains of 9%.
Growth with the US nut market looks set to be fuelled by the keenness of trade associations to promote the health and wellness benefits of nuts when the research is there to support it. Further positive research behind walnuts and almonds will fuel growth.
Increasingly health-conscious consumers are sincerely concerned with seeking out healthful snacks. Nuts gained enduring respect for their nutritional value, and Americans are turning toward the market with new enthusiasm.
The US nut farming industry includes approximately 110,000 farms with combined annual revenue of about $19 billion.
California is the country's leading producer of tree nuts. Nearly 90% of each year's tree nut production is harvested from the state's orchards, including almost all almonds, pistachios and walnuts.
Nuts have been cited as a food that Americans should eat a lot more of by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Nuts are considered an oil, healthier than a solid fat found in meat. However, although nuts are often promoted as part of a weight loss plan, nutritionists warn that consumption must be limited because they are also calorie-dense.
For more information on the US nut market, see the latest research: US Nut Market Report
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