The tradition of consuming dried fruits as healthy snacks is not something new. It has been there since the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia. These fruits have the majority of their water content removed either naturally or artificially and are nutritious and have a longer shelf life. Today the consumption of dried fruits and edible nuts is widespread, with raisins, dates, and prunes making up most of the global sales. Some of the fruits are artificially drained using methods such as air drying, spray drying, and freeze drying to extend its shelf life and portability. The consumption of dried fruits and edible nuts in on the rise due to the high content of dietary fibers, antioxidants, nutrients, and healthy fats. Among edible nuts, almonds were the most consumed products in high-income economies in Europe and North America, followed by cashews. (Procurement Market Intelligence Report – SpendEdge)
Drop in almond prices
Almond being the most consumed edible nut in the European and North American market has seen a gradual increase in its oversupply. This is especially prominent in California, USA, as farmers are generating high returns from the almond crops by replacing cotton and grapes crops. As a result of this mismatch between the demand and supply, almond prices have been gradually decreasing. Additionally, the demand for almonds from chief consuming regions such as Europe and Asia has also led to a short-term decrease in almond prices. Buyers in this market can grab hold of such opportunities by introducing new almond-based products.
Preference for sultana over raisins in the chocolate industry
The primary difference between sultana and raisins is the fact that raisins are produced from red grapes and sultana from white grapes. To contribute to the new product line and add variations in the flavor major suppliers such as Cadbury have replaced raisins with sultana. The other benefit of sultana is that it costs relatively lower than raisins. As a result, buyers are benefitting from a flexible supply of dried fruits to enhance their product line.
Growing investments in packaging and processing machines
The global trade of dried fruits and edible nuts has mostly seen sales of unbranded products. However, as consumers become brand conscious and international trade guidelines become strict regarding packaging, suppliers have to invest in packaging and processing machines. For instance, the cashew processing industry in Vietnam has increased from a capacity of over 250,000 tons/year to over 1.4 million tons/year in 2016. This sharp rise in demand can be attributed to the rise in exports to countries such as China, the US, and the Netherlands. Suppliers have been looking at packaging options including zip lock packaging, tray sealing, and laminated packaging.
Development of high-yield peanut varieties
Suppliers are in pursuit of high yield oleic Spanish peanuts, which are highly disease resistant and provides excellent yield with financial assistance from institutions such as the USDA. For instance, Ole peanuts in multiple variety trials have resulted in an output of over 400 pounds per acre compared with Olin. Peanut crops, in general, have a lifespan of about five months and require a vast amount of nutrients to grow. Buyers have to look out for high yield varieties to ensure a constant supply of dried fruits and edible nuts.
Read more about the trends in the dried fruits and edible nuts market along with category management, procurement best practices, and key suppliers in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global dried fruits and edible nuts market.