California produces roughly 80 percent of the world’s almonds, and the amount is only expected to rise.
According to a new study from the National Agricultural Statistical Service, California is expected to produce 2.25 billion pounds of almonds in 2017. That’s the largest almond crop the state has ever produced.
The increased almond production correlated to global almond consumption. Food Ingredients First recently reported that for the 10th year in a row, almonds were the number one nut used in global food products.
Part of that rise, experts say, has to do with growers like Blue Diamond that have worked to get almonds in a variety of products, such as almond milk, almond flower and even an almond oil sold in health and beauty segments.
“Almonds enjoy that status as the most used nut in products largely because of the overall volume that California and other countries throughout the world produce,” Bill Morecraft, the Senior VP for Global Ingredients at Blue Diamond, told ABC10, “And it’s much more flexible in its forms as an ingredient than many tree nuts that are primarily for snacking.”
The National Agricultural Statistical Service report showed that the number of nuts growing per tree has actually decreased, despite an overall rise in crop.
The California Almond Board said that the decline in nuts per tree is largely because of the drought the past few year, but that overall production has still gone up due to the increasing number of acres being planted.
The hope, Morecraft says, is that in coming years the crop continues to grow even more.
“We could use a bit more,” he said. “It’s just barely enough to keep world consumption growing.”