From our orchards to consumers: Get to know our California almonds

ofi's footprint in California

We currently produce almonds over 13,000 acres, spread out across ten orchards in California’s Central Valley. With that footprint, ofi can produce roughly 26 million pounds of almonds on an average year. Our strategic spread of orchard locations throughout the valley allows us to diversify water, insect and weather risks that play a significant role in almond growth and harvest.  

Shop ofi's California Almonds

 

What types of almonds come from our California orchards?

While we produce additional varieties in our Australian orchards, we primarily grow Nonpareil varieties and Carmel varieties in our California orchards. We also produce Sonora, Buttes, and Monterey varieties, but on a smaller scale than Nonpareil and Carmel. Looking for organic options in these varieties? We have those, too! Shop Organic California Almonds

 

What are the differences between these varieties?

Nonpareil Almonds are typically long and flat with a smooth surface. Due to their attractive appearance, they are one of the most popular nuts in general, and the most popular almond variety among consumers. Their blemish-free, thin outer shell and smooth kernel are perfect as a snacking nut, whether it is consumed raw, roasted, or seasoned with our ofi spices! 
Carmel Almonds are large and narrow, with a wrinkled surface and firm texture. While still a great alternative for snacking, Carmel Almonds are also a versatile nut and can be used in any process and application. Their distinct difference from Nonpareil is they are darker in color.  

 

What are the main phases of the almond lifecycle?

While almond trees' lifecycle spans over 25 years, the trees themselves go through an annual lifecycle, which entails bloom, nut development and growth, nut maturation, and harvest. Once harvest is complete, ofi processes and works with customers in identifying the desired forms of almonds needed for their end product. The almond trees then live in dormancy until bloom begins again, where we see the process start all over. 

Fun Fact: Our footprint in both northern and southern hemispheres allows us to produce almonds year-round and meet the growing demand of our customers and their consumers. Stay tuned to learn more about the Australian Almond Life Cycle in an upcoming blog focused on our Australian almond business.

 

ofi's Almond Processing Capabilities:

Our general processing includes three important steps: pre-cleaning, hulling, and shelling. There is an optional fourth step which includes further processing for our blanched almonds. For blanched almonds, we utilize a two-step scalding and drying process to remove the skins. While natural almonds that contain their traditional brown skin are more affordable, there is some bitterness from the skin. Blanched almonds are more expensive due to the extra processing, but provide a cleaner flavor. For our California almonds, processing takes place at our Hughson Nut facility in Hughson, CA. We also have processing capabilities in Vietnam and Australia.

Once done with processing, we provide ingredients for our customers based on their final application needs. Our Hughson Nut facility can provide roasted almonds, almond flour, and diced ingredients. By way of our international processing facilities, ofi can provide oils, butters/pastes, blanched, diced, slivered, sliced, protein powders, flours, and roasted ingredients.  

Not sure when you would use these types of ingredients? We are here to help: 

  • OilsCooking Ingredient, Dressings/Sauces, Condiments, Spreads 
  • Almond Butters/PastesBaked Goods, Beverages/Milks/Creamers/Shakes, Snack Bars, Spreads, Frozen Dessert
  • Blanched AlmondsCoated Candies/Confections, Baked Goods, Spreads, Snacking (plain and seasoned)
  • Diced, Slivered and Sliced AlmondsCereals, Granola, Baked Goods, Snack Bars
  • Almond Protein PowdersBaked Goods, Beverages/Milks/Creamers/Shakes, Snack Bars, Coatings, Spreads, Snacking Chips
  • Almond Flours Baked Goods, Snack Bars, Coatings, Snacking Chips
  • Roasted AlmondsSnacking (plain and seasoned), Coated/Candies/Confections

As one of the major suppliers of almonds on a global level, we are fortunate to learn firsthand the endless possibilities and innovations associated with almonds. With our own internal chefs, food scientists, category managers, and marketing team, we can work with our customers to help them meet the needs of their consumers. We dive deep into local and domestic trends, as well as on a global scale, and are constantly improving our processes to be innovative with our nut ingredients. Our expertise does not just stop at almonds, we produce cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts, as well as spices, cocoa, coffee, and dairy products. Let ofi be your one-stop shop as you grow your brand and portfolio.