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California Walnuts Going Strong continued.

They constantly seek out and incorporate new methods of growing and handling walnuts that minimize waste, enhance productivity, and preserve and protect natural resources. Many are multi-generational family farmers that are looking forward to future generations producing high-quality, great tasting walnuts for years to come."

Currently, the top export markets are; Germany, Turkey, Japan, Spain, Italy, South Korea, UAE, Canada, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Marketing programs have, and will continue to be, a key driver in building consumer demand for California walnuts. Currently, the California Walnut Commission (CWC) conducts targeted marketing programs in nine countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The growers, handlers and the CWC have made great strides by working together and will continue building demand in an ever-expanding global market.

"For the past two years, Germany has been the leading importer as they not only use walnuts within the country, they historically have been a major hub for nuts and dried fruit import and distribution throughout Europe. Turkey has a long history with walnuts in their cuisine, but their demand has increased significantly over the years and they are also a major importer. Japan, South Korea and Italy round out last season's top five countries where walnuts have become a favorite in baked goods and for snacking", explained Graviet.

When asked how marketing efforts have changed since the onset of Covid-19, Graviet adds, "Two key things have changed how we reach consumers with education and inspiration and where consumers are using/eating walnuts. For the first part, we have increased the use of digital communications to share recipe ideas and how-to videos with consumers as they are cooking and baking more at home than ever and are looking for new ideas. We've also created educational webinars for chefs looking to offer menu items that meet consumer needs for take-away foods that meet expectations to help maintain overall health and wellness. And since consumers are spending more on groceries, we have both in-store and online point-of-sale promotions that keep walnuts top of mind for home cooking, baking, and of course, snacking."

Upcoming tradeshows are also an important part of international networking and marketing. "As of right now, the CWC will be participating in Gulfood in the UAE, ANFAS in Turkey and Alimentaria in Spain. There are other shows that were rescheduled from 2020 that we may participate in later in the year. Right now, the three I mentioned above are expected to be in-person events but of course, this could change and we are fully ready to adapt to virtual events or postponements".

According to the CWC website (www.walnuts.org), one ounce of walnuts is a "powerhouse of important nutrients for optimum health", including;

An excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid (2.5g) the most ALA of any other tree nut.
4g of protein
2g of fiber
A good source of magnesium (45mg)

Ms. Graviet explains in more detail the health attributes of California Walnuts.

"California walnuts have a mild flavor and creamy texture that lends them to be extremely versatile with a wide variety of cuisines. They are also grown, harvested and packed under strict federal and state guidelines and the California walnut industry has maintained an exceptional food safety record for over a century.

As I said before, just one handful a day is all you need to improve your overall nutrition with plant-based Omega 3's, which are essential fatty acids critical to various body processes, as well as protein and fiber. As a nutrient-dense food, walnuts are an excellent way to improve overall diet quality and for more than 30 years, the California Walnut Commission (CWC) has supported health-related research on walnuts through research grants and the provision of walnuts.

Since the inception of the health research program, more than 185 CWC-supported, peer-reviewed papers have been published examining the effect of walnut consumption on areas including heart health, cognition, cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, body weight/composition, reproductive health and gut health. When looking at Gut Health, a healthy gut microbiome has been linked to a variety of health benefits that can strengthen the immune system including reducing inflammation and supporting digestion and metabolism. Research from The Journal of Nutrition suggests walnuts may be a good choice for gut health because of their prebiotic properties."


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