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Setton continues to be a leader in pistachios

By
Keith Loria

Brothers Joshua and Morris Setton began processing pistachios in the 80s, believing it was a crop with great potential. Their instincts turned out to be correct as the pistachio industry has grown by leaps and bounds.

“This success also allows us to support our community by creating hundreds of jobs, aiding local charities, and developing free recreational and technological amenities for residents such as parks and internet access,” said Joseph Setton, executive vice president of Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella and Setton Farms.

The world’s love for pistachios has given the Setton family the ability to grow into one of the largest U.S. pistachio growers-processors, shipping to customers in every U.S. region as well as to countries all over the world.

“For nearly 40 years, the Setton family has taken a hands-on approach to growing and processing pistachios in Central California,” Setton said. “As a vertically integrated company, we are able to focus on every step of the process, from growing and harvesting to processing, manufacturing, packaging, and ultimately, marketing our premium pistachios all over the world. Our leadership and reputation in the nut industry is unparalleled. We are pistachio advocates at our core, consistently innovating in each area of our business.”

In 2021, the pistachio industry saw another record-breaking crop, coming in at 1.1 billion pounds, and while this year’s pistachio crop is not expected to be another record breaker, it will be strong and demand for all varieties will continue to be met.

Quality and innovation are the key factors for being successful in the pistachio industry and those are things the company has always been a leader in.

“As more and more people reach for plant-based protein snacks that are ‘real’ foods, Setton Pistachio differentiates itself with quality you can see and taste,” Setton said. “To continue to grow, you must innovate and bring consumers new and interesting products that will satisfy a variety of tastes.”

For example, Setton Farm’s Seasoned Pistachio Kernels offer a no shell pistachio experience with natural seasoning that can be seen on potato chips. This bit of familiarity makes pistachio snacking more accessible, without the oils, trans fats or cholesterol of other snacks. Its brand-new Buffalo Wing variety offers familiar flavors on its crunchy California pistachios and are expected to be the new fan favorite.

“Setton’s business has been consistent throughout the pandemic,” Setton said. “Shelf stable, nutrient dense pistachios continued to be in demand as consumers snacked more, especially plant-based proteins. COVID-19 did show retailers the value of having multiple pistachios brands (including private label) on shelf which not only gives additional opportunities for sales, but it also offers greater supply stability.”

Seasoned kernels are responsible for growing the pistachio category as a whole. While traditional in-shell SKUs continue to do well, consumers are looking for flavor.

“No-shell pistachios are a perfect grab-and-go item, which is why Setton Farms Seasoned Pistachio Kernels in the new 2.5-ounce size are ideal for the front-end register space,” Setton said. “Consumers absolutely love our extreme Scorpion Pepper, bold Buffalo Wing and classic Salt & Pepper varieties. Each bag offers naturally seasoned pistachios with no oil and no shells for clean, plant-based snacking on the go.”

Thankfully for the company, pistachios continue to be the top selling nut in every region of the country. The growth of pistachio sales continues to be driven by innovative products and this is where Setton Farms excels.

“Offering both seasoned kernels and seasoned inshell pistachios, a truly unique Dark Chocolate Pistachio line, and a variety of pistachio-centric snack mixes, consumers have a range of premium quality choices that continues to expand,” Setton said. “Promoting around traditionally heavy snacking times such as Super Bowl, March Madness and Memorial Day will also go a long way to support repeat sales.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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