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The green trend: this is how the pistachio took over 2022 | Israel today


It started with the dream of one person with a developed imagination and exploded on social networks • The marketing managers of the major companies responded to the demand, and limited edition ice cream became the most sought-after product in Israel • The trend also spread to confectioneries and other giant companies and even won its own festival • From the most crowded shelves in the supermarket to the most reputable boutique bakeries - That's how the pistachio reached all the shelves

2022 is the year when the pistachio turned from just another raw material into a nationwide craze.

What started as a fairly routine marketing move, soon became a trend the likes of which has not been seen for a long time - from a variety of greenish off-the-shelf products to collections in the leading confectioneries that emphasize the unique taste.

How did it happen that such an old and familiar taste became a trend?

After all, the pistachio has always been here, certainly in our provinces.

The first mention of the pistachio in the sources is from the Bible: according to commentators, the peanuts that Jacob sent to Joseph - "Nakath Valt, batnim and almonds" - are the fruits of the Batna, the goddess of the Batna, aka the pistachio tree.

There is evidence of the tree growing in the mountainous regions of Israel and Syria in the days of the Geniuses, between the 6th and 11th centuries, although it is not known if the fruits of the tree were intended for food or even for medicinal purposes.

The pistachio is also an integral part of the variety of baklava familiar to us from the Arab world: if Turkish baklava - layers of phyllo dough and pistachios, sweetened with sugar syrup and sometimes perfumed with rose water or Zohar water;

And if worbat - a pastry very similar to baklava but made of layers of phyllo dough and vanilla cream, topped with sugar syrup and pieces of pistachios or nuts.

There is also the burma, also from the local Arab cuisine, made of kadaif dough and filled with crushed pistachios and pressed into a roll-like candy.

A star in the Arab kitchen.

Baklava with pistachio, photo: Liron Almog

With the development of the confectionery industry in Israel, which relies on expatriate Ashkenazi sources, the pistachio was excluded and remained in the Levant provinces.

Similar to peanuts, the pistachio also failed to make it onto the menu compared to almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and king nuts, because it was not part of the repertoire of raw materials prevalent in Eastern European regions.

When we also became interested in the wealth of ingredients and flavors inherent in the French patisserie, the pistachio began to shine in the showcases of the considered and desirable confectioneries in Israel - and only them.

The macaron collection of Raviva Apple from "Raviva Vasilia", for example, included pistachio-flavored macarons as early as the 90s, but the "Roldin" chain only adopted the pistachio in 2007.

Today, the pistachio is already an integral part of the chain's selection of sweet pastries, which uses no less than six tons of pistachio a year, according to the company's VP of Marketing. This year, in response to the trend, the chain also launched the "Caroldine Pistachio", which is a fried butter croissant , filled with pistachios of course.

The use of pistachio as a leading flavor in creams, fillings, pastries and marzipans is based on special animals that could not be obtained in Israel until the early 2000s.

The animals and extracts were carried in a suitcase from Paris, and therefore their use was reserved for virtuous individuals.


Let's jump from the end of the nineties to 2010, to the social media enterprise that changed our lives.

Suddenly we could watch from the sofa at home into the intricacies of the international creation - who bakes what, with what and why.

Along with countless inspirations and trends, the pistachio also received a place of honor on Instagram, thanks to one Parisian bakery and its pistachio snail.

In 2017, the bakery "Utopia" (Utopia) in the 10th and least known arrondissement of Paris began to thrive on the popular social network.

Something about the sincerity of the classic pastries won back the hearts of followers.

Snaking queues, including the barrel itself, formed daily outside the venue to taste and post the coveted photo, and the pistachio became a viral hit.

Pistachio for Instagram.

The pistachio snail of the Utopia bakery in Paris, photo: Maya Darin

Although we are talking about an Instagram trend that started about five years ago, it is important to note that the pistachio in the French patisserie is a timeless classic.

He knows how to hold the first place by himself like in financier pistachio, macaron, danish and more, and especially likes to pair with dark chocolate, strawberries, raspberries and cherries.

The lemon flavor also compliments it very much and emphasizes its special taste.

Even in the worlds of Italian gelato, the pistachio is an old star.

No gelato showcase is complete without a mountain of greenish ice cream - a basic flavor just like vanilla or chocolate.

Green goes down

How did it happen that the Israeli food industry only discovered the potential of the pistachio in 2022?

It all started with the initiative of one consumer who decided to market to the giant companies in particular, and to all Israeli pistachio lovers in general, what seemed impossible.

Why is it impossible?

Michal Bouton, baker and owner of the business "Amitha Beit Mapa", who was a consultant for Strauss' Milky brand for a long time, explains that the larger the shelf space of a particular brand, the more you can play with special editions and new flavors.

The real estate on the shelf is already reserved, and it is possible to refresh its ranks from time to time. This is an excellent opportunity for public relations, advertising and raising the value and awareness of the brand.

Products with a certain basic recipe, such as milk delicacies, are very fertile ground for the play of flavors and aromas by adding diverse flavor extracts, but nevertheless it should be taken into account that developing a new off-the-shelf product is no small matter - strategic marketing thinking, sales feasibility, technology are needed Food and culinary consultants, who guide the process with a professional hand.

Bouton discovers that at the time the combination between the pistachio flavor and the popular milk delicacy was destined for failure, not because of its taste - after all, the audience is used to "flavored" products that are not necessarily the real taste, just as "banana flavor" does not in the least resemble the taste of a fresh banana - but because of its appearance.

Just as the idea of ​​combining the matcha (green tea) with the delicacy was rejected because of the green color, which is not at all typical for the category in question, so the color overpowered the spoon and the idea for a pistachio-flavored milky was shelved.

Complete takeover.

Pistachio, photo: GettyImages

The green community

Let's go back to the present day.

How was a large company with a reputation on its side convinced to embark on the pistachio adventure?

Well, the source of the craze comes precisely from consumer demand, and more correctly - thanks to one pistachio lover named Ohad Rauch, and a big, green dream that he decided to fulfill.

Rauch says: "My love for pistachios was born at a young age. My grandmother would buy pistachios at the market in Petah Tikva, and I would shell them. We would arrange them in molds, and my grandmother would send them to roast. The smell that would spread throughout the house created a beautiful childhood memory for me that matured into love." Says Rauch, copywriter and creative director, who led in his vision for the development of Nestlé's Pistachio Crunch.

"It all started with the identification of a fruitful discourse in the food community 'Hungry in your hunger'. I came across a very fruitful reference to the pistachio croissant of 'Penina Pie' in Ashdod, and as a socialite I was intrigued. I wanted to taste the croissant and understand what all the noise and commotion was about. One morning I went to a bakery in Ashdod, and unfortunately at 11 before noon there are no pistachio-filled croissants left."

By 11:00 they were all kidnapped.

Panina Pai's croissants, photo: Shiran Cohen

It was the disappointment that led him to dream big.

"In my dream, all the pistachio croissants in the world ran out. A little dwarf who wanted to comfort me pulled out a pistachio-flavored Bamba and served it to me. This is where the madness was born. I made a 'Bamba Pistachio' packaging in Photoshop and, following the publication, in January 2021, I received countless responses, likes and shares.

"People around the network asked me to come up with more ideas, and there were those who even looked in stores for the virtual products I created," describes Rauch.

"Due to the high level of involvement, I opened an Instagram page called 'The Green Plague' and a Facebook community called 'Ohavim Pe Pistachio'."

Rauch learned more about the raw material and even traveled the world following the pistachio, became an "expert" on the subject and was invited to taste products in bakeries and confectioneries throughout the country.

Today, the extended community already has about 10,000 followers, and the tremendous response to the idea has also reached the marketing departments of the major food companies.

"In June 2021, I uploaded to the group a photo I created for a pistachio version of Crunch. The post went viral, and a few days later Nestlé's VP of Marketing, Leah Reiner, came to my house with a stack of Crunchies as a token of thanks."

Rauch took advantage of the opportunity and became interested in developing the product of his dreams.

"Six months after the publication of the post, Leah called and announced the production of 500,000 units in a limited edition. They offered me to be a full partner in the whole process and made sure to put me in the front. The Crunch was created in full cooperation between us, and I thank them for that."

The limited edition passed the million units.

Pistachio Crunch, photo: Ami Shoman


The "Limited Edition" was less limited than planned, and according to estimates, Crunch sales exceeded one million units.

Is one of the reasons for the success of what up until that moment was considered a marketing headache is the fact that the iconic ice cream bar is sold perfectly packaged in a sealed and designed wrapper?

Maybe, but in any case there are other reasons for the dizzying success.

"When we decided to develop Pistachio Crunch, the taste itself was a niche, and in particular very mature," recalls Leah Reiner.

"There was an element of risk in this development, but we believed that there was a good story here. This is a request that was born from the consumers and became a reality. This launch is more than another new flavor, it is a story of contact with the consumers. And this, from our point of view, is the great success of the move."

From the moment it was decided to market the product to the launch itself, only about eight months passed, and a key feature of the development team contributed to this.

"The entire team, marketing and technology, love pistachios, so the development was intuitive. It was important for us to use real pistachio puree and pistachio pieces to achieve a taste that is true to the raw material. This is not a gimmick, the product was developed for pistachio lovers, but at the same time it had to be adapted to the brand ".

Reiner admits that they did not expect such enthusiasm for the product.

"We believed in the process of listening to consumers, but there is no doubt that the enthusiasm and sensation exceeded all our imaginations. We ended up producing three times what we planned when we decided to launch the limited edition. We wanted to reduce as much as possible the gaps between demand and supply, yet keep the product as a special edition" .

Hence, as we know, the hysteria led to the flaring of taste in every corner.

"We enjoy witnessing a trend spreading to all areas of food and beverages in the country. Its buds began as early as last year when we recognized the discourse regarding pistachios in the networks.

"Next year, a new trend will arrive," says Rainer with the confidence of experience, but one thing will no longer change - "the dialogue with consumers will continue to intensify. Development of a new product in the Crunch series is already underway in collaboration with the 'Hungry in Your Hunger' community. I promise it will be interesting ".

Rauch was not satisfied with the huge trend that was created, and initiated an event in collaboration with Sharona Market that took place in November 2022. "The idea was to sell in a small store products, pastries and other delicacies from all the producers I met during the green road, but when we started to be precise and get down to the details, a whole festival was born. I recruited all the businesses that sold the their wares, and it was a great collaboration. 35 thousand people came in two days of activity.

"Today, every baker, confectioner and business in Israel includes pistachios in their line. Every small bakery serves at least one product with pistachios. A year ago it was not so common. It excites me."

Today Rauch holds lectures on the subject of realizing the vision of the pistachio, in which he shares the story of the journey following the pistachio, which turned the passion into a widespread occupation.

An idea that started in a small shop.

Rauch at the pistachio festival, photo: Hagar Araba

on every shelf

Products from the competing company Strauss also joined the big celebration, including Mini-Magnum ice cream and Danone yogurt.

Avi Lauper, the marketing director, claims that Crunch's success had no direct part in this.

"Our developments started before you arrived, we have been working on them for more than two years. Some of the ideas did not mature for a variety of reasons, but we know that today's consumer is looking for more excitement and is open to innovations, and we are constantly searching for products that will provide all of these. The pistachio trend certainly helped to realize products that were found to be good and worthy ".

In this case too, the pistachio flavors are a great success.

"The demand is higher than the forecasts thanks to the enthusiasm," Laufer admits, "some taste and like it and some don't, but the audience is used to pistachio and want to try and taste it."

After that, a pistachio drink by Yatbata was also launched.

"In the drink, we treat pistachio as a raw material. This is evident in the resonance of the product on social media - in the recipes circulating on social networks, the drink is used as a raw material, and you can see it also starring in pastries and desserts."

So why not Milky?

"When we see such enthusiasm for a new flavor, we definitely think of a way to incorporate it into other products as well, but only on the condition that the product is worthy and good and passes all the taste tests."

And the rest - green history.

Today you can find the green taste also in bars and chocolate bars, in biscuits, in energy bars and protein bars and in other different ice cream brands.

And the hand is still tilted.

Before you rush to fill the shopping basket with all this green, I recommended: pay attention to the list of ingredients and look for pistachios or pistachio puree in them.

Give up products that only contain flavor and aroma extracts, and prefer the real thing.

were we wrong

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-12-31

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