California walnuts are generally lighter in colour with a mild taste and a soft creamy texture. California walnuts undergo strict handling processes, helping set them apart from other origins, while maintaining an exceptional food safety record for over a century.

The UK continues to enjoy the delicious taste and consistent quality of California walnuts. Peter Meadows, director of the Garden Marketing & PR agency who represents the interests of California Walnuts in the UK, says: “Together with the California Walnut Commission (CWC) we actively promote California walnuts and their many benefits to the UK trade and consumers via a range of initiatives, inspiring and encouraging them to use more California walnuts in innovative ways.”

Recent highlights of these activities include promotions with Waitrose, Farmfoods, Iceland and Costco, plus a range of supporting advertising and trade PR. Having won the ‘Best Superfood’ Gold Award in 2019, California walnuts are officially classed as a superfood.

California Walnuts has invested in health research over the past 30 years, resulting in close to 200 published scientific papers demonstrating walnuts’ contribution to human health, and garnering a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved claim that a daily 30g handful of walnuts can have a positive effect on blood vessels’ elasticity, maintaining cardiovascular health, as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

As well as the nutritional benefits, California walnuts offer a number of attributes over other origins: consistency, outstanding food safety, delicious flavour and texture, consistently high quality and year-round availability.

Consumer appreciation of nutritional benefits of California walnuts is also currently being boosted by the surging interest in plant-based eating, which is fuelling purchase of natural ingredients, particularly nuts.

According to Mintel, the percentage of meat eaters who have reduced or limited the amount of meat they consume has risen to 39% in 2019 and 79% of meat-free users/buyers say eating meat-free foods makes them feel good. Vegetarians are also on the rise, with the Vegan Society estimating there are now around 600,000 vegans in the UK.

“Many consumers perceive plant-based foods as a healthier option,” says Peter Meadows. “This is a key driver behind the reduction in meat consumption and it’s a trend that shows no sign of stopping.”

Why California walnuts?

California walnuts are lighter in colour and have a milder taste compared to walnuts from other origins. California walnuts have a soft, creamy, texture which makes them an excellent meat-replacement. They provide that ‘umami’ flavour characteristic associated with meat products and thanks to their high healthy polyunsaturated fat content, they also provide the mouthfeel consumers are looking for.

With the right spices, additional ingredients, and processing and cooking techniques, plant-based meat alternatives using California walnuts will not only create a new taste sensation as a ground meat replacement, burger patty, sausage patty or even bacon-flavoured bits, they will enhance the nutritional profile of products.

California walnuts are the only nut that has a qualified health claim in the EU specific to heart health.

To receive further information, where to buy, future initiatives or how we can help you promote your products containing California walnuts or California walnut ingredients, contact: via or phone 01628 535 755

Read more news and articles about health trends in retail