Diamond Foods introduces chocolate almonds

STOCKTON, Calif. Diamond Foods announced Monday that it is getting even nuttier with its product lines.

The company, which manufactures the Emerald Nuts brand, will be adding Emerald Cocoa Roast Dark Chocolate Almonds to its product line in early 2008. The new offering marks an industry first among the national snack brands and compliments Diamond’s campaign as promoting nuts as a healthy source of natural energy, the company said in a release.

Emerald Cocoa Roast Dark Chocolate Almonds combine special dry roasted almonds with a rich dark chocolate flavoring, the company reports. One serving, which can be served by using the lid of the container is only 150 calories (the same number of calories as a handful of regular almonds) and is a low-sodium snack while also providing a great source of Vitamin E and protein.

“Consumers are looking for snack items that deliver an indulgent taste without the guilt,” said Andrew Burke, senior vice president of marketing, Diamond Foods. “Emerald Cocoa Roast Dark Chocolate Almonds delivers all the great benefits of Emerald’s dry roasted almonds with a light, sweet chocolate taste.”

The Emerald snack line, which has expanded from 14 to 23 products since its national introduction in August 2004, has distribution in approximately 84 percent of the nation’s grocery stores.

Emerald sales have grown 27 percent over the past year and a recently conducted Nielsen Study found that 77 percent of Emerald’s sales growth over the past year was incremental to the category. The brand has also found additional distribution in drug stores, convenience stores, club stores and mass merchandising outlets, and its availability is growing.

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