China Food

When does the nut roll stop? Germinated nuts become the next breakthrough

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drawing on the ancient wisdom of China and the popular sprouted nuts in Europe and America, can it lead the new trend of consumption in China’s 100 billion nut Market?
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Text: Laurel Guo   

Source: foodaily daily food (ID: foodaily)

 
COVID-19 has speeded up the transformation of the habits of the people, and the new consumption trend of food with the core of “natural health” is accelerating. The category of tuyere, which is set up by “delicious and nutritious” gold, has been continuously created, and its popularity is increasing. It belongs to nuts with rich nutrition and crispy crisp nuts. According to the report of “2021 Tmall nut consumption trend” , in the fierce fighting snack track, the market scale of fried nuts is second only to cakes and snacks, ranking second in the consumption list.
 
In the face of the rapidly developing nut industry, three squirrels, the king of the track, put forward the slogan of “returning to nuts”, while Qiaqia, the king of melon seeds, said to “all in” nuts and start “nuts +” Strategy. The nut market is booming, attracting many non nut brands to cross the board. First, candy King Xu Fuji launched the nut gift box, and then Starbucks, Ruixing and Xi tea tested the nut market one after another.
 
Source: Lucky Coffee & line friends
 
With the increase of entrants, the competition in the nut market tends to be white hot. In 2015, Qingdao Wolong took the lead in launching the “daily nut” The nut market has been successfully ignited due to numerous successes. Since then, nut products have exploded, and the overall market scale has increased by 500% annually. The rapidly growing market space has immediately attracted brands such as Baicao flavor and three squirrels to follow suit, and derived sub categories such as probiotic series, 0 sucrose and high calcium. This year, Laifen heqia has also launched a series of dirty nuts in an attempt to reproduce the daily life The explosion glory of nuts.
 
In the face of the booming nut Market, snack giants are unwilling to be absent, and have begun to use their own incubators to layout the nut track. The Pepsi Cola accelerator nutrition greenhouse incubates the functional nut energy bars IQ bars that focus on cognitive demands, and the almond juice origin almond, which is cold pressed and extracted, low sugar and low calorie, is strongly supported by the Kraft Heinz Incubation Platform springboard The venture capital fund 301 Inc under Fang made two consecutive rounds of bets for kit hill, a almond kernel dairy substitute company, and participated in the lead investment of US $58 million.
Source: bevnet
 
Compared with domestic mixed nuts, nuts account for “half of the country” According to the current market situation, the overseas nut market can be called a full bloom. Various flavors of single nut, mixed nut, nut stick, nut jam, and popular new star nut milk under the trend of plant-based are all popular ways to open nuts. Recently, there have been new product forms such as making nut powder into biscuits and chips. However, the most striking thing is “sprouting” nuts.
 
Perhaps potato sprouting is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and many people associate food sprouting with deterioration. Such a thinking pattern makes many consumers have little understanding of the unique benefits of nut sprouting. In the European and American markets, sprouted nuts originally belong to a small category, but now they are riding the east wind of great health, with their more nutritious and healthy product image, they are unprecedented The crunchy taste and easy digestion and absorption are loved by more and more consumers and gradually move towards the public.
Photo source: Daily crunch
 
Can “germination” inject new inspiration into the nut Market? Can domestic nut brands tell the story of germination and create a new outlet for the nut industry?
 
Germinated nuts:
The ancient oriental wisdom leads the Western health trend
The popularity of germinated food in Europe and America began with cereals. During germination, starch decomposed, the nutritional value of cereals was improved, and people who were sensitive to digesting cereals were more friendly. Later, due to many similarities between cereals and nuts, people began to try to apply the idea of “germination” to nut categories. Facts have proved that germinated nuts reduce phytate in nuts to a certain extent (an anti nutritional component) to improve the nutrient absorption rate of nuts.
 
After germination by soaking and activation (incomplete germination process, because the soaking time is short, the germ does not break through the seed coat), the raw nut is dried to zero moisture at low temperature (about 43-46 ℃), so as to reduce the volatilization of flavor substances in food and realize flavor concentration. After germination, a hollow core will be formed in the nut, with baked crisp texture and unique taste.
 
In addition to the “transformation” in morphology and taste, germination also greatly improves the “gold content” of nuts. Nuts baked at high temperature may cause up to 20% of vitamin loss, especially vitamin C and vitamin B. drying germinated nuts at low temperature not only reduces the loss of vitamins, but also protects the higher concentration of vitamins produced during germination.
Left: non germinated nuts, right: germinated nuts
Source: Forbes
 
Although sprouted nuts have sprung up in Europe and America, the use of sprouted seeds as food is the crystallization of Chinese wisdom. Bean sprouts, a common dish on Chinese tables, are “sprouted food” Sprouts generally refer to the use of plant seeds or other nutrients to cultivate edible buds under certain conditions. As early as 5000 years ago, Chinese doctors prescribed sprouts to treat various diseases.
 
Seeing the long edible history and nutritional value of germinated grains and germinated vegetables, European and American brands began to favor the concept of “germination”, and a trend of germinated nuts was blowing. Social celebrities have also become supporters of the trend. For example, Courtney Kardashian, an American reality TV star and model, once shared with fans how to make germinated nut milk. The celebrity effect makes the spotlight on germinated nuts brighter.
 
Source: thething
 
After a small nut sprouts with water, it releases the magical power of life and can be absorbed and benefited by people. Such a story setting in line with the current trend of healthy consumption can actually open a broad market space with a little polishing.
 
European and American brands have made great efforts,
Continuous energy storage germination nut Market
At present, germinated nuts are mainly aimed at consumers who pursue natural organic and healthy zero added food in the European and American markets. As a new category, the first priority of germinated nuts is market education. Only by establishing a new understanding can the market foundation of products be firmly established. Food bloggers in Europe and America share DIY pictures and videos of germinated nuts on social media to guide everyone to make their own at home and establish the basic image of germinated nuts. Brands introduced the benefits of sprouted nuts in detail on their official website and printed clear words on product packaging to strengthen consumer awareness. As the sprouted nuts are gradually known and accepted by the public, in addition to the snack companies specializing in sprouted nuts, many manufacturers and channels also begin to enter the market one after another.
 
(1) See the market vane, from germinated seeds to germinated nuts
Founded in 2002, go raw is an American snack brand specializing in germinated seeds and one of the largest germinated food manufacturers in the world. The brand is committed to producing the world’s most delicious sprouting products and snacks, and promises to use only a few simple ingredients to process food, striving to simplify the products. Following the trend of nuts, go raw also began to set up a nut product line and applied germinated nuts in a variety of nut, nut stick, oatmeal and other product series.
Source: go raw official website
 
(2) Self produced and sold, channel giants test water and sprout snacks
In the face of the rise of sprouted nuts, channel giant Amazon is not willing to lag behind. Wickedly prime, as Amazon’s own food brand, about 50% of its products are germinated nuts. In order to create a richer product taste, wickedly prime not only sells germinated almonds separately, but also mixes germinated almonds with mulberry, apple chips, cocoa, coconut chips, mango, medlar or raisin to form mixed nuts with different flavors.
   Source: Facebook
 
(3) Carry out a beneficial consumer education with packaging
Daily crunch snacks is a startup brand established by Laurel orley and Diane orley in February 2020. Considering that the popularity of germinated nuts is still insufficient, many people do not know the meaning of “germination”, nor do they understand the health benefits and taste differences compared with raw or roasted nuts. Therefore, orley, the founder of the brand, was keenly aware of this and chose to print the answers to these questions on the back of the packaging bag. For example, slow dehydration after soaking nuts will change the texture and produce a unique brittleness, which fully shows the attention to consumer care and consumer education. Last year, the newly established daily crunch snacks was awarded the 2020 healthy snack award by good housekeeping (GH), which firmly grasped the next trend in the snack industry of germinated nuts.
Explanation of germinated nuts on the back of the package
Source: Daily crunch snacks official website
 
(4) Seek global organic nuts to make the best germinated nuts
Nut · hut, founded in 2013, is located in Canada and is mainly engaged in germinated or raw organic nut seeds. The product raw materials basically come from all over the world, including but not limited to American walnut, Australian almond, Indonesian cashew nut, American Bigan fruit, Canadian hazelnut, Turkish sunflower seed, Austrian pumpkin seed, etc. In order to let consumers have a better understanding of germinated nuts, the definition and nutritional benefits of germinated nuts are also introduced in detail on the official website.
 
Image source: https://www.nuthut.ca
 
(5) Carefully design creative packaging and deepen the concept of product health
Boundless, a healthy snack company founded in the UK in November 2017, is mainly engaged in sprouted nut snacks, focusing on publicizing the bright benefits of activating sprouted nuts to help digestion, and strengthening consumer awareness through the cartoon intestinal image on the package. At present, the brand mainly introduces four kinds of mixed nuts with different flavors: Rosemary flavor, ginger orange flavor, Aleppo flavor and turmeric pepper flavor. The nuts mainly include pecan, almond, cashew nut and walnut.
 
Boundless’s online business increased by more than 2000% in the first half of 2020, and its retail sales increased by 600% year-on-year. In July 2020, it received an investment of £ 1 million. In addition to obtaining financing, boundless also received good news in major competitions. First, its products were rated as “must buy healthy snacks in 2021” by coach, and its founder Cathy Moseley was also successfully shortlisted for the British Outstanding Entrepreneur Award – Food and beverage entrepreneur of the year. The brand said that in the future, it will be more committed to bringing the natural health benefits of active nuts to consumers and developing more personalized flavors.
Source: boundless official website
 
Various faces of germinated nuts:
Nut jam, nut chocolate bar, nut milk…
At present, most germinated nut snacks are single or a mixture of various nuts, which are not much different from ordinary nuts in appearance. In order to broaden the consumption scene of germinated nuts, many brands use their brains to make all kinds of foods with germinated nuts as raw materials.
 
The sauce especially favored by European and American consumers is one of the ways to open germinated nuts. Blue Mountain organics launched a variety of nut jam made of Bigan fruit, walnut and almond, claiming that the processing of germination removes the bitterness, improves the flavor and makes the nut jam easier to digest. Windy City organics uses the stone grinding process to produce a smooth texture of germinated almonds, and uses low-temperature treatment to retain important heat sensitive nutrients as far as possible to meet the health and nutritional needs of consumers.
Source: Forbes
 
It is also a new fashion to mix and match sprouted nuts with other healthy ingredients. Chocolate company hnina mixes its own brand chocolate with different germinated nuts such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts to make new products such as snack bar, nut chocolate block and nut chocolate sauce.
Source: Amazon
 
After vegetable milk became popular in European and American markets, many food bloggers saw the outlet of vegetable milk and launched self-made sprouted nut milk recipes to attract more consumers to plant new vegetable milk with natural health and novel sprouting raw materials. When the public formed a basic understanding of germinated nuts, major brands began to launch all kinds of germinated vegetable milk to seize the minds of consumers. Snack brand karmalize.me and retailer milkrun have successively launched germinated almond milk, focusing on smoother taste and easier digestion than ordinary nut milk. In addition, germinated almond protein powder has also been sold on instacart shelves.
Source: milkrun official website
 
Sprouting nuts, it’s not easy to say I love you?
FDA pointed out that nuts under suitable germination conditions for a long time are conducive to the growth of bacteria. Therefore, for eager entrants, how to avoid food safety risks such as bacterial pathogen infection in the process of nut germination, temperature control in the process of low-temperature drying and precise control of time still need to explore and overcome.
 
In order to strengthen the quality management of germinated nuts, different manufacturers have also made different countermeasures. Alex malinsky, CEO of Windy City organics, which produces germinated nut snacks, has formulated strict guidelines to ensure food safety: pay special attention to the germination process, soak nuts only with reverse osmosis filtered water, dry them thoroughly at low temperature to reduce moisture content, retain nutrition, and minimize pollution risk by strictly following the process.
 
Nut • hut soaked nuts in salt water for about 24 hours, fully washed and dried at 62 ℃ for 1h, and then dried at 46 ℃ for 65h, so as to comply with the regulations of the disease control center of British Columbia, Canada. All nuts also need to undergo strict water content determination in the food laboratory.
 
The use of information equipment is also a powerful assistant to ensure product quality. To your health germinating flour company uses an automatic germinating machine that can germinate 1600 pounds of raw materials each time. Through machine programming, it can efficiently carry out washing / rinsing, soaking, germination and other process operations, so as to achieve accurate control of the whole production process.
Source: Forbes
 
In addition to paying more attention to production technology, the pace of functional research on raw materials themselves cannot stop. At present, the concept output of germinated nut company for healthier germinated food is mainly based on the health research of germinated grains. The substantive role of germination treatment for specific types of nuts is still lack of sufficient research to support and prove. Therefore, in this circle of sprouting nuts in the future, academia and business circles need to work together to promote the steady progress of this emerging category.
 
Summary
Sprouted nuts, a new category based on nuts, has attracted the attention of more and more brand enterprises and consumers under the trend of superposition of health nutrition and plant base. The chemical reaction of old concept + novel collocation has burst out different sparks in European and American markets. With germinated nuts as raw materials, various kinds of forms are emerging. Germinated nuts have become a rising star in the fruit and vegetable track.
Foodaily believes that germinated nuts are likely to take root in China, but it still needs the improvement of relevant laws and standards to standardize the development of the industry. From the perspective of brands, how to make consumers perceive the differences between germinated nuts and ordinary nuts in texture, flavor and nutrition, and avoid the embarrassment of “IQ tax” is the key to gain a foothold in the market.
Thorns do not need to avoid, but their potential is also dazzling. It remains to be seen whether sprouted nuts can become a new breaker on the 100 billion nut track.
Cover source: milled.com
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