Donald, OR – Hazelnut Growers of Oregon (HGO) has recently launched its product line of new Oregon Orchard®'s seasoned snack products.

This line of 8 oz. re-sealable pouched snacks is now available at the Oregon Hazelnut Marketplace and all Wilco Farm Stores in Oregon and Washington. Oregon Orchard’s seasoned hazelnuts are currently selling online at the Oregon Orchard Website for $8.99.

The five seasoned flavors are Himalayan Salt; Southwest Chili Pepper; Sweet & Spicy Barbecue; Rosemary; and Cinnamon Sugar. Hazelnuts are a good source of vitamins B6 and E and are Keto-friendly. All Oregon Orchard® snacks are produced with HGO members’ hazelnuts, which are steam pasteurized in small batches at the SQF (Safe Quality Food) Level 3 Certified processing facility in Donald.

Greg Thorsgard, COO of Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, said the new snack options fulfill a growing demand for locally produced, nutritious, natural, and flavorful snacks.

“We’re excited to release the first new product line under our new Oregon Orchard® logo,” Thorsgard said. “These products fill a niche in the continually growing and expanding desire for savory, spicy, ethnic and floral flavors by the younger generation of consumers.”

According to the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 State of the Industry report, “Specialty foods’ characteristics—quality ingredients and production, interesting flavors—are requirements rather than luxuries with consumers, younger ones particularly. Based on Mintel’s research, … the iGeneration (ages 18 to 23) embrace specialty foods’ attributes somewhat more strongly than generations before them.”

About Hazelnut Growers of Oregon

Founded in 1984, Hazelnut Growers of Oregon, a business unit of farmer-owned cooperative Wilco, has more than 180 growers who collectively own more than 20,000 acres of prime hazelnut orchards. Oregon’s Willamette Valley has the ideal climate for growing the world’s highest quality hazelnuts. It is in this special corner of the world where temperate ocean, mountain, and river climates meet with rich volcanic soils to create a prime hazelnut-growing country.

In 2016, Hazelnut Growers of Oregon merged with Wilco and by 2018 completed its 120,000 square-foot state-of-the-art hazelnut process facility in Donald, Oregon. HGO processes both in-shell and kernels and serves food service supply companies, confectionaries, snack food makers, and bakers around the globe. The new processing plant also has 30,000 square feet of storage space. In 2018, HGO processed more than 15,000 US tons and anticipated about the same volume this bi-annual year. The Oregon hazelnut industry is expected to double in the next five years.

November 8, 2019