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!