Setton pistachio sales accelerate in 2020
The pistachio business has generally thrived in recent years. As the COVID-19 crisis has heightened consumer interest in health, Setton Farms, the country’s second-largest pistachio grower-processor, has seen an increase in consumer interest and product sales.
Joseph Setton, vice president of domestic sales for the family business, said online sales have particularly escalated in 2020.
The firm supplies global markets via a variety of sales and distribution techniques. This includes a social media presence that has accelerated direct sales to consumers.
Giving Setton a special sales boost this year is its new product, Seasoned Pistachio Kernels. These are shelled, dry roasted — without oil — and then seasoned with blends of premium spices. Setton said the lack of oil avoids a greasy residue and messy fingers.
Five flavors are packed in three-ounce consumer servings; eight to a case. Setton also offers a floor display pack with 60 three-ounce packs.
Setton said the Setton Farms Garlic-Onion flavor has already won two awards. The Setton Farms Jalapeno Pistachios just received the Clean Eating magazine’s Clean Choice award.
Other seasoned kernels flavors are Chili-Lemon, Chipotle BBQ and Salt-and-Pepper. None of the flavorings are artificial.
Setton said that some consumers find it convenient to buy a shelled pistachio, others find the shell-cracking process to be calming.
The new Seasoned Pistachio Kernels are intended to appeal to a new consumer audience, which may not have purchased pistachios in the past. “This is a whole new set of eyes,” he noted.
Within Setton’s worldwide pistachio distribution, there are hospitality customers of all sorts, as well as many retail customers.
Setton described his company as “nimble” and able to adjust to new opportunities.
“In generally, sales have been strong because pistachios are healthy,” he said. They have always benefited human health, but now those virtues are more appreciated than ever.
In the COVID-19 era, Setton said sales have been strong and online sales took off.
In 1959, Joseph Setton’s father, Morris Setton, and uncle, Joshua Setton, started their business with a bakery in Brooklyn. They later started a gourmet food store and then entered the wholesale business of nuts and dried fruits. By 1987 they entered the pistachio industry. Setton Farms is now in its second generation.
The firm grows pistachios in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, where the climate and soil are perfect for growing the best-tasting pistachios in the world.
“For more than 40 years, our family has taken a hands-on approach to growing and processing pistachios in this region,” Setton said. “As a vertically integrated company, we focus on every step of the process, from growing and harvesting to processing, manufacturing, packaging, and ultimately, marketing our premium California pistachios all over the world.”
Setton’s processing facility is in Terra Bella, CA. The firm can store and process up to 110 million pounds of pistachios a year. Sales are year-round, while most of the harvesting takes place in September, with some harvest finishing in October.