The company Ferrero consumes about 25 percent of global hazelnut production in Nutella alone, according to the Italian Trade Agency in 2015, so you can be forgiven for mainly associating this nut with that sweet chocolate spread, or with the same confectioner’s Ferrero Rocher candy (sometimes it’s hard to write these posts without a trip to the candy machine). But hazelnuts are packed with nutrients and make a great ingredient in many foods.
According to a 2017 survey conducted by Oregon Hazelnuts, consumers are interested in the flavor of hazelnuts paired with caramel, coffee, vanilla, and coconut—and chocolate, of course. Other than candy, hazelnuts are welcomed in fruit and nut bars, granola, nut toppings, and baked goods, and hazelnut oil is enjoyed in salad dressings.
Turkey is the world’s largest hazelnut producer, in general accounting for about 70 percent of global production, although the 2016 crop suffered from frost during bloom, and Turkey’s supply dropped sharply as a result. With so much of the world’s production concentrated in one country, supply and pricing volatility are a concern to companies like Ferrero and other candy makers. Ferrero is actively recruiting growers in other parts of the world to diversify supply.
In the U.S., hazelnut production is concentrated in Oregon, where acreage has expanded over 25 percent in five years. U.S. growers also are achieving yields well above those in other origins, so acreage expansions here provide stronger boosts to production.
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Global hazelnut production share
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