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Nuts For Almonds: Innovation Key To Blue Diamond’s Growing Success

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Tony Lopez Tony Lopez
Tony comes to Sacramento from the CBS station in Denver, Colorado,...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Almonds are one of the most popular products on store shelves these days, and the industry’s profits are skyrocketing for companies such as Blue Diamond Growers here in Sacramento.

So why are consumers suddenly going nuts over almonds?

Blue Diamond sits at 16th and C Streets in Sacramento and has been processing almonds since 1910; but Consumer Products Division General Manager John O’Shaughnessy says business has sped up big time in the past decade.

“The almond industry is one of California’s greatest economic success stories,” he said.

Success might be an understatement. Just look at how Blue Diamond’s revenue has climbed over the years, from $775 million in 2010 to $825 million in 2011. The company broke the billion dollar mark in 2012, and then hit $1.2 billion this year.

Almonds are nothing new. So, why are the sales numbers going totally nuts?

“Innovation is the one word that Blue Diamond feels describes the organization more than any other,” said O’Shaughnessy.

Another term worth learning is “value-added.” It means products that go beyond your basic raw or slivered almonds. Blue Diamond now has over 25 flavors of almonds, a family of almond milks, and almond-based crackers called “Nut Thins.”

Ten years ago, you’d walk through the store and find just two or three Blue Diamond products on shelves.

“Currently, on average, we have between 25 and 30 items on supermarket shelves in the United States,” said O’Shaughnessy.

The Almond Innovation Center is where Blue Diamond’s latest and greatest ideas are born.

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