About Nuts newsletter
PEANUTS AND NUTS, SURPRISINGLY MULTIFACETED
In this newsletter1. Nutritional forecast for 2007
2. Expert opinion: Goos Eilander, Trendbox
3. Food trends 2007
4. Science and health
5. The macadamia in the spotlight!
1. Nutritional forecast for 2007A new year implies a new forecast. This is also true in the world of food. It not only important what we eat in 2007, but also how we consume this in a healthy and sensible way. This can be found in the fifth About Nuts newsletter. You can read in the column of Goos Eilander (Trendbox) his views on the place of nuts in our society. You will also find a summary of the 'Richtlijnen goede voeding 2006' [Dutch new guidelines for good nutrition 2006], in which the role of peanuts and nuts are also described. The versatility of the health effects of peanuts and nuts is emphasized once again by the findings that even a low weekly intake of them will have a preventive effect on the occurrence of heart and vascular disease. In short, an interesting newsletter, full of inspiring information.
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2. Expert opinion:
Goos Eilander, Trendbox
Photo: Goos Eilander
Like man, like nut..You probably know already that, along with others, yours faithfully has been busy for many years now with a full-time evaluation of consumer behaviour. We do this in a number of ways because every product group (domain in our language) requires a more or less unique approach. This is also the case with snacks amongst which, to keep things simple, I have included most nut types. Nuts take up their own rather individual position: for instance, it is quite usual for different types of nuts to be combined in one serving dish.
Don't do this: it tends to upset people, because it does not take long before the cheeky ones in the group quickly pick out their own favourite nut, the rest of the group then being left with the leftovers that they have been handling.
Why is it then that one type of nut is obviously preferred and the rest is pushed aside? Well, the secret here is called SEGMENTATION. And unfortunately, in the world of nut marketing, this has not yet been sorted out completely. I will describe four types of people to you, namely the Social Seeker, where everything revolves around his social life, the Status Seeker, who is mostly concerned about his image in the eyes of others and who 'buys' attention with expensive and exclusive products, the Adventurer, who could not really be bothered and who is mostly oriented towards new things and physical stimulants, and finally the Cost Conscious, for whom things easily get too much and who - with an eye to his financial security - somewhat screens himself from the rest of the world.
This basic segmentation can be recognised in many markets in a more or less nuanced form. With nuts for example, we see that the Cost Conscious will, per definition, only buy things on special offer and that he has a rather limited 'evoked set' of brands and products. A shop's own brands are by far the most preferred, and the products are classic by nature because others may be too quickly perceived as being too expensive. Peanuts are still called "earthnuts" (aardnoot), so you will quickly know about whom I am talking. The Social Seeker and the Adventurer are less choosy: the biggest difference is that the Adventurer will quickly become bored and needs to be stimulated continually, preferably with intensely piquant tastes, the Social Seeker could not be bothered.
The Status Seeker takes the cake: he will and must have something on the table that the others have not yet seen: To him, exotic nuts are the best choice, preferably marketed under a good brand name. So, don't ever put all the nuts in one bowl again: serve them in four different ones. With nuts, segmentation is also a "nutscesity".
Goos Eilander, Trendbox BV
3. Food trends in 20072006 would turn out to be the year of the omega-3 fatty acids, super fruit and healthy biological products. For 2007, new forecasts were being made. Easy, delicious and healthy is the motto for 2007. Added to this, a healthy lifestyle appears to be the idea behind the various trends.
Special needsHealthy products are as good as they taste. The consumer prefers pleasant eating above health, and each consumer also has his own special individual needs. Manufacturers concentrate on this.
The growth in the number of one-person households has for instance caused manufacturers to introduce growing numbers of products and packaging for individual consumption. To meet with the increasing pace and mobility of our daily life, more and more products are added that can easily be taken along and eaten on the move.
In 2007, more attention will also be given to children and the ageing. Both groups have specific nutritional needs. As regards children, healthy eating is becoming an important target, because increasing numbers of them are becoming overweight. So-called 'junk food' will be replaced by healthy and tasty food. Today's elderly are no longer 'old'. The consumer between the ages of 50 and 60 is in the prime of his / her life. Healthy food choices provide this group with enough energy and well-being to enable them to enjoy life to the fullest.
Authentic, naturally sensible productsThe forecast is that the composition of foodstuffs, the location and method of production will play an ever-increasing role. Attention is given to natural products without additives and which are therefore, in the perception of the consumer, sensible and healthy. Biological is becoming more of an everyday thing. A-mark manufacturers will increasingly offer biological products. Local, fresh products and crops are also becoming increasingly popular. Not only restaurants, but also supermarkets will start to promote quality produce from the local cheese maker and small farmer. Original Dutch products and dishes will be rediscovered in 2007 and will help to determine the trends in cooking and taste.
Staying healthy for longerConsumers want the best of both worlds; they want to be able to eat healthy nutrients in the simplest possible way. This health needs differ from person to person. The growing popularity of functional food is a trend that is counter to the tendency towards natural products. Functional ingredients can be added or found in foodstuffs naturally containing these substances. For 2007, an increase is especially anticipated in the following functional ingredients and products.
More and more research will also take place on the safety of food produced using nanotechnology. There is still much doubt about whether the major food companies will risk taking this step. Yet it is expected that the first products, 'prepared healthy' using nanotechnology will appear on the market in 2007.
4. Science and health
Dutch guidelines for good nutrition in 2006On 18 December 2006, the new Dutch guidelines for good nutrition were presented. The previous guidelines dated from 1986. The new guidelines were drawn up on the basis of the latest scientific opinions on nutrition and health. The basic idea is that good nutrition contributes to the prevention of chronic disease. These guidelines apply to the (apparent) healthy Dutch population from the age of 12 months.
Changes"Science did not stand still" according to the report. An important change is the inclusion of target values for exercise, in line with other countries such as Belgium and America where exercise is also included in the general guidelines. For the first time, additional guidelines were also drawn up for persons with an unwanted weight increase or too high a body mass. The importance of total nutrition is also emphasized. The Dutch Health Council states that the total nutritional patterns form the deciding factor in the prevention of chronic disease.
Dutch populationIn general, the Dutch public does not comply with the Dutch guidelines for good nutrition. Frans Kok, chairman of the Health Council commission, recently estimated that only 1 to 2 % of the population actually complies with the guidelines. In particular, the intake of fibre is far too low. One cause of this is the drop in the consumption of grain products, vegetables and fruit, said Kok. The intake of salt is also on average still too high. Further health gains are possible following a reduction in the consumption of saturated fat and trans-fat. A decrease in the consumption of these nutrients will reduce the chance of developing heart and vascular diseases.
Practical applicationIn order to advise the population optimally, the Dutch Food and Nutritional Centre is currently translating the guidelines into practical recommendations. The Dutch Schijf van Vijf [with five golden rules: have a varied diet; don't eat too much; consume less saturated fats; eat lots of fruit, vegetables and bread; and treat foodstuffs with care] has been amended and new recommended daily quantities are being drawn up. The Dutch Food and Nutritional Centre anticipates being able to present these recommendations by mid-2007.
European survey: nuts protect against heart and vascular diseasesPeanuts and nuts have proved in various surveys that they could have a preventive effect in reducing the development of heart and vascular disease. This epidemiological research was however mainly performed on an American population. However, because the eating patterns and nut intake of Americans could differ from that of other countries, an European investigation was started. In this investigation, a study was made of the relationship between the intake of peanuts and nuts and death caused by coronary heart disease. For this, data on 399,666 participants in the EPIC study, (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) from ten European countries were analysed.
In the study, participants were classified in four categories. Differentiation was made between participants who:
Regular consumption of a handful of peanuts and nuts seems to be lowering the chance of dying of coronary heart and vascular disease. Eating a handful of peanuts and nuts twice a week, about 8 gram per day seems to cause a reduction of 11% in this health risk.
The results confirm earlier data from American epidemiological research into the relationship between heart and vascular disease and the consumption of nuts. The results also indicate that even a relatively low intake of peanuts and nuts can have a protective effect.
1 J. Sabate, M. Jenab, P. Ferrari, et al. (2006). Nut Consumption And Protection Against Coronary Heart Disease Death In The European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer And Nutrition (Epic) World Congress Of Cardiology. Abstract number 270. www.escardio.org
5. The macadamia in the spotlight!
Origin and historyThe macadamia's name came from its discoverer, John Macadam. He discovered the macadamia in the rainforests of the Australian east coast around 1857. Originally, the nut grew in Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Through the years, more and more countries such as Africa, Costa Rica and Guatemala have started producing these nuts.
The macadamia treeThe macadamia nut grows on a tree of about five meters high. The tree will only produce its maximum capacity after ten years. The macadamia tree previously had serrated leaves, but as the result of grafting, the tree now has smooth leaves. The grafting has ensured an even softer and tastier fruit.
Nutritional aspectsMore than 88% of the total fat content in macadamias consists of unsaturated or good fats. This is 3% higher than the average unsaturated fat content of nuts. Unsaturated fat lowers the cholesterol levels in blood. The fatty acid composition of the macadamia is very much comparable with that of olive oil.
Table: Nutritional value of macadamias (per portion)