Revised December 2023


Approximately 99 percent of U.S. pistachios are produced in California. In 2022, there was 428,000 bearing acres of pistachios producing a total of 882 billion pounds of pistachios (NASS 2022).


Most pistachios are sold as shelled nuts. In 2022, 652 million pounds of in-shell pistachios were sold, while only 230 million pounds were sold shelled (NASS 2022).

The unshelled nuts are primarily sold for domestic consumption as a roasted and salted snack food. A smaller portion of nuts – often those that are not usable for non-manufactured snacks because they have not split or are badly stained –  are used as ingredients in candies, baked goods, ice cream, confectioneries and flavorings. They can also be added to dressings, casseroles and other dishes.

Pistachios are widely marketed on their health benefits, scoring high in protein and fiber. A recent study by researchers from Cornell University found that pistachios also have a high antioxidant capacity, similar to blueberries, pomegranates, and other foods known for their antioxidant capacity (APG).

Value-Added Opportunities

Value-added products pistachio paste and pistachio oil are expanding in the export and ethnic markets.

Package design is a needed component in the industry, because pistachios are sold in many different sizes – from snack packs to bulk – and different purposes.

Processing Facilities

Pistachios are mechanically shaken from the trees and are sent to processing mills to be hulled and dried. They must be processed within 12 to 24 hours after harvesting, so it is important that growers have a processing facility nearby.

Establishing processing facilities and or co-op processing facilities would be an added enterprise for the industry to efficiently handle projected future demand.


The United States is the leading producer and exporter of pistachios with nearly 51% of global production followed by Turkey and Iran (FAS 2023).

The leading destination for pistachio exports was China and Hong Kong, followed by Germany. Spain, Italy, and India are also significant markets for U.S. pistachios (APG).


Helpful enterprise budget for pistachios:


Administrative Committee for Pistachios

American Pistachio Growers

American Pistachio Growers Report 2022

California Pistachio Research Board

Foreign Ag Service (FAS), USDA.

Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts, National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS), USDA