Insights on the Walnut Industry


To provide basic insights on the Californian walnut industry including information on average acreage of walnut farms, growth or decline in average acreage over the years, the most common uses of walnuts, recent consumer trends in walnut products, etc.

Early Findings

  • More than 99% of the walnuts grown in the United States are grown in California’s Central Valley.
  • According to the latest estimates available, more than 4,800 family farms have been growing walnuts in the valley for over a century.
  • According to government estimates, walnut production in California was projected to be at 630,000 tons, down 6.8 percent from 2018's production of 676,000 tons.
  • However, in comparison with the numbers of 2000, the total bearing acres for Californian walnuts increased from 200,000 acres to 365,000 acres in 2019.
  • Between 2000 and 2019, the maximum price for per ton of walnuts was registered in 2013 with US$3,710 per ton.
  • In 2018, the price was US$1,300 for each ton of walnuts.
  • Number of walnut trees per acre in Californian farms increased from 54.8 in 2000 to 76.9 in 2019.
  • According to the latest numbers available, established orchards in California incur a cost of US$4,703 to produce walnuts in one acre of land which are then sold in the market at an average price of US$5,875.
  • In September and October 2018, the total volume of Californian in-shell walnut shipments were down by 24% on a year-on-year basis, and 36% when compared to the 3-year average.
  • Plant-based eating is one of the latest food trends wherein Walnuts add texture and flavor as a component of a plant-based protein replacement for meat.
  • Walnuts also play an important role in the Mediterranean diet which was named the 2019 diet of the year for its nutritional benefits, including the benefits of good fats.

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