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Cultivate Innovation with Oregon Hazelnuts

Between a Flourishing Supply and Growing Consumer Interest Lies an Opportunity to Create Enticing New Products

Eight hundred grower families cultivate 99% of the U.S. hazelnut crop on farms nestled along the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The Oregon hazelnut industry is experiencing significant expansion. In the past five years, the number of hazelnut growers in the region multiplied and Oregon’s hazelnut acreage more than doubled. That’s good news for food companies, which can anticipate a ready supply of Oregon hazelnuts to meet product ingredient needs.

On top of the thriving supply, there is also strong consumer preference for
U.S.-grown hazelnuts
and considerable interest in trying the sustainably grown nut in a variety of products.

Consumers are a Bunch of Health Nuts

Hazelnuts’ health halo may be on the rise.*

Pie Chart 1 Pie Chart 2
Awareness of health benefits specific to hazelnuts motivates consumers to eat more of the nut, especially when they are linked to improved heart health or disease prevention.

When it Comes to Health, Hazelnuts Stand Out

Regarded as a high-quality nut by consumers, the hazelnut also carries considerable nutritional value.
  • It packs more heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and iron compared to most other tree nuts.1
  • Compared to any tree nut, hazelnuts contain the highest level of folate, which may reduce risk of neural tube birth defects, depression and cardiovascular disease.2
  • Consuming just 1.5 ounces of hazelnuts per day may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.3
  • It serves as a source of dietary fiber.1

Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as hazelnuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content.

Consumer Curiosity ABOUT Hazelnuts is High

82 %

of consumers who have never tried hazelnuts say they are interested in tasting them as-is, as an ingredient in a new product or in one they already enjoy.

The top consumers of hazelnuts?

Women ages 18-44. These consumers are more likely to have a college or postgraduate degree, work full-time, earn a higher than average income and have kids at home.

Consumer chart

Devouring More Hazelnuts

Consumers may be eating hazelnuts “as is” – whole, roasted or unroasted – more frequently than in the past.*

Consumption frequency chart
Consumption preferences graphic

Going Beyond Their Nut Norms

Nut and berry mix

Of those who report eating more nuts than last year, 42% say they consume a larger variety of nuts than in the past.

A Strong Preference for U.S.-grown Hazelnuts and Sustainability

US Grown Hazelnuts

Oregon produces the vast majority of U.S.-grown hazelnuts, and approximately 5% of the world crop. U.S.-grown hazelnuts have become the global benchmark for excellence, recognized for their large size and unparalleled flavor. American consumers favor locally grown hazelnuts, citing an interest in supporting U.S. farmers.

State of Oregon

The majority of American consumers prefer to buy products with hazelnuts grown in the U.S.

The key motivator for buying products containing Oregon hazelnuts?

Knowing they are grown sustainably by 800 grower families who pass their farms down from generation to generation.

Two consumer groups are most strongly motivated to purchase U.S.-grown: heavy users (eating hazelnuts in any form a few times a week or more) and those who pay close attention to the latest health and nutrition information.

Looking Beyond the Snack

The rich flavor and crisp texture of Oregon hazelnuts is found in the carbohydrate fraction instead of in the kernel fat, making the nut’s flavor more easily extracted and concentrated. Roasting, chopping or grinding the nut intensifies the flavor, so hazelnuts are ideal for mixing with other ingredients – and consumers think so, too.

want to try hazelnuts as an ingredient in a main dish

want to try hazelnuts as an ingredient in salad dressing

want to try hazelnuts in a salad

Consumers expressed interest in a variety of innovative applications for hazelnuts. The items and combinations that stand out most?

Mixed nuts
or trail mix

Baked goods –  cookies, muffins <br>or bread

Baked goods – cookies, muffins
or bread

Chocolate bars <br>& candy

Chocolate bars
& candy

“As is” – whole, roasted or unroasted

“As is” – whole, roasted or unroasted

Fruit and nut bar

Salad dressing


Yogurt or hot cereal topping or “mix-in”

Yogurt or hot cereal topping or “mix-in”

Desire for sweet and savory flavors in new products

The top hazelnut flavor combinations of interest:





Sea salt


Consumers ranked these flavor combinations near the top of the list as well:


  • Banana
  • Cinnamon-sugar
  • Honey
  • Berry
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Apple pie
  • Apple
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Cherry
  • Gingerbread


  • Hickory-smoked
  • Garlic
  • American (Cajun, BBQ)
  • Parmesan
  • Bacon
  • Chipotle honey

Price Perception of Hazelnut Products On Par with Other Everyday Nuts

With a greater supply of Oregon hazelnuts comes more stable prices for food companies. And fortunately for food company decision makers, consumers do not consider products with hazelnuts to be particularly expensive compared to other nuts. Consumers’ perception of the price of hazelnut-containing products is on par with other commonly consumed nuts, such as pecans and almonds. Significantly more consumers describe products containing macadamia nuts, pistachios and cashews as “expensive” compared to hazelnuts.

The number of consumers who describe products containing each nut as
The number of consumers who describe products containing each nut as "expensive."

Buy Hazelnuts

To purchase wholesale hazelnuts, visit

About the Study

An independent research firm conducted the Hazelnut Consumer Attitude and Usage Study between September 18-25, 2017. The sample, which was consistent with the total U.S. population, included 1,000 adults 18 years and older who personally consume tree nuts other than peanuts in any form. The study’s margin of error is +/- 1.9-3.1%, with a confidence interval of 95%.

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nutrient Database. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/.
  2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/.
  3. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Qualified Health Claims: Letter of Enforcement Discretion – Nuts and Coronary Heart Disease. https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/default.htm.

Due to changes in methodology, sample, question order and question wording from the 2006 survey to the 2017 survey, users should use caution when comparing data.