Topline Trends Tuesday: Stats prove more Canadians going nuts

trailmix

Despite allergy fears and warnings that prevent nuts from being available in schools and many other public places, Canadians are eating more nuts than ever before. While general nut consumption in Canada grew by 14% last year, trail mix growth increased by 22% as people discover these foods as healthier snack choices.

Our household certainly reflects these trends. While peanuts, pistachios, pine nuts and hazelnuts are never served at our house due to Martin’s allergy to them, I started to buy lots of dried fruit and nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans last spring. My son Oliver is literally always hungry in the evening. He’s still weeks shy of his 13th birthday and already 5’ 10” tall but only around 130 lbs so he has good reason to eat a lot. And, once he’s had his food groups for the day, I’m fine with him eating ice cream and cookies.

Problems arose when I realized that I’d fallen into the habit of buying him chips on a regular basis. Eating high fat, processed, salty snacks is a habit that I don’t want him to develop. So, I started laying out bowls of nuts and dried fruits in our TV room and guess what? Chip consumption plummeted.

We’re also true to trend when it comes to who in our family dips into which bowl. Recent research indicates that 65% of younger snackers opt for fruity blends or candy coated nuts and I must say that Oliver is our biggest dried fruit consumer (although I’ve been eating an awful lot of the Back to Nature chocolate almond and cranberry blend since I discovered it earlier this month!) Meanwhile, Martin and I are like the 54% of older consumers who say they prefer plain or raw nuts.

What about you? Does your nut consumption conform to these stats or are you a maverick?

Note: The autumn issue of my online quarterly food trend newsletter Topline Trends will be live by the end of the day! Read all the yummy details!

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14 Responses to Topline Trends Tuesday: Stats prove more Canadians going nuts

  1. I eat nuts almost every day. Usually it’s a handful of mixed nuts, roasted without salt. I often eat them when I’m peckish and know that I’m eating soon, or feel a bit hungry before bed.

    Looking at your data I see that I’m a classic “older consumer” preferring my nuts without dried fruit.

    Thanks, Dana. Now I feel old…

  2. Barb says:

    It’s funny how a person’s tastes change. More mature; not old. I quit nuts and other foods that contain fat when my doctor told me that my cholesterol was getting high but I have seen the light now and do eat some. I like raw almonds, walnuts, seeds and things that I toast myself and either eat as is or add them to trail mix or granola.

  3. Kitchen Goddess says:

    I love nuts but not salted ones. I don’t like fruit mixed in either.

  4. Rosa says:

    I eat nuts now and then. Mostly when I make cookies, brownies or other baked goods…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. dinnerwithjulie says:

    I LOVE nuts. W could live on pistachios if I let him. My faves are salted cashews. The problem is I eat altogether too many, and they’re high in calories (even though they’re SO good for you)! I’m currently on a homemade nut butter kick – you can do all kinds, even using spiced nuts – in the food processor!

  6. Nuts have just been reintroduced into our house (following some allergy fears). I prefer mine out of hand, and I’m with Julie on salted cashews. And yech, no fruit with mine. But I’ll never turn down chocolate!

  7. Diva says:

    Nut consumption in our household is off the charts. We both love them and typically prefer to have them solo without any dried fruit. I like all varieties and really prefer them salted.

    Thanks to dinnerwithjulie for the great idea about making spiced nut butter. Will def. try that!

  8. Shaslam says:

    We’re all pretty nuts around here and we eat lots too. Like others have said they make a great snack!! I’ve bought the kind with dried fruit– some take out their favourite pieces but most get left behind so now I just buy plain nuts–no salt ever! Organic are a treat–when I can find them–they really do taste better–we’ve compared.

  9. Oompah says:

    After being diagnosed with diabetes last year, my nut consumption has increased. They’re a great source of good fat (like olive oil, which you mentioned above), and a low carbohydrate snack, which is important for diabetics. Also, eating a few nuts allows me to indulge in ice cream once in a while – the fat in the nuts help keep my blood sugar from going too high from the ice cream! I prefer the salted nuts, and love them with dried fruit, but I can’t have the fruit very often, due to its high carb count.

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