Sourcing Nuts FAQ

August 28, 2018

The best snacks start with the best ingredients. To ensure our customers receive the best quality, Truly Good Foods works with some of the top nut vendors in the world. We understand the cycle of crops in the various growing regions, assuring you the most consistent quality and ongoing availability.

As people become interested in learning more about where their food is coming from, sourcing and commodities have become very interesting topics. We’re sharing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about nuts:

Q: What are the biggest commodity factors that determine pricing?

A: Pricing of any commodity depends on several factors, the main ones being:

  • Demand: If nuts are in high demand year round, they will be costly.
  • Availability: Most nuts are produced in limited regions. Weather and other factors can severely reduce the production.
  • Processing Costs: Nuts vary in difficulty and cost for harvesting and processing.
  • Middleman: From farmers to consumers, the more times the product has to change hands, the higher the price will be when the nuts finally reach consumers.


Q: Which nuts are produced the most?

A: Out of the dozen major tree nuts, four make up over 70 percent of total global production: almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios.


Q: Why has nut consumption grown both nationally and globally?

A: Demands for tree nuts have soared the past couple of decades due to increased incomes and recent studies that have touted the many health benefits of nuts. Beyond a snack on their own, nuts have also been featured in other food forms like snack bars, almond milk and cashew milk. Almond milk alone is on track to become a $1 billion industry.


Q: Why have prices skyrocketed on certain nuts?

A: A classic case of supply and demand. While the demand for nuts has increased significantly, production hasn’t been able to keep up.


Q: What are the major production issues with nuts?

A: There are many issues that can derail nut production. Weather is always the major one, but political turmoil can also play a part internationally. Production is also a slow process to get started since new trees take many years to mature and bear fruit.


Q: How does regional weather affect global production?

A: Most of the major nuts only have a few dominant producers so regional supply deficits can greatly affect the global supply. When California, who produces 70% of the world’s almonds, was hit with a multi-year drought in 2010, the state produced fewer almonds and prices soared.


Q: Why aren’t nuts produced in more places?

A: The production of nuts has settled in locales that are the best climate for their production. The temperate climate of California has been well-suited to producing almonds and walnuts. The warm weather and low humidity of Iran has been perfect for pistachios as they’ve been produced there since the 5th century BC. Cashews need tropical conditions to thrive so they are ideal for growth in Vietnam and West Africa. Even though the climate might be the perfect fit for growth though, weather shocks or political issues can still hurt production.


Tags: commodities, faq, nuts, sourcing

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