The spotlight was on "Plant-based innovation with California walnuts" at the Innovation Day, where the California walnut industry welcomed industry experts to the Food Harbour Hamburg. Top-class speakers discussed current food trends in panel discussions and deep dives, highlighting versatility of the quality walnuts from the US Golden State.

Prior to the event, the innovative power of California walnuts was analyzed in close cooperation with Food Harbour Hamburg and presented in four product concepts - two meat and two cheese alternatives. Notably, walnuts, with their mild, nutty flavor and meat-like texture, offer substantial potential for plant-based products, enhancing nutritional value as a nutrient-rich, natural ingredient. The dietary profile of walnuts stands out, particularly due to their healthy fats, a characteristic well-received by consumers. Remarkably, walnuts are the only nuts with a high content of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

Walnut-based meat alternatives

Within the meat alternatives segment, a walnut burger patty and a walnut paté (liver sausage style) have been developed. Both products contain 30% California walnuts. The spreadable walnut paté, with its creamy texture, serves as an ideal spread or savory recipe ingredient. The frozen burger patty stands out for its intense flavor and consistency, enriched by walnut pieces that deliver a unique crunch, creating a distinctive texture and taste experience.

Walnuts as cheese alternatives

Nut-based product concepts are on the rise in the dairy sector, convincing with creaminess. The prototype called "Spreadable" is a plant-based cream cheese alternative (29% walnut) and can be combined both sweet and savory. The texture is creamy and smooth with a mild nutty flavor. The hard cheese "Sliceable" with 5% walnut is reminiscent of young cheeses. Whether as a cold cut, for gratinating or grating, it can be used in many ways in the kitchen thanks to its excellent melting properties.

Find impressions of the event here.

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