The cashew nuts market is projected to witness a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. The drivers identified in the market are increasing demand for healthy snacks, increasing demand from the European countries, and an increase in the number of primary processing units in Africa.
The restraints identified in the market are weather-related uncertainties, food safety issues, and the prevalence of small-scale central processing infrastructure.
The cashew market witnessed a rapid shift in the consumption pattern across North America and Asia-Pacific in recent years, primarily due to assorted cashew products occupying an increased share in the retail market space. The high penetration rate of cashew-based retail manufacturers in the developed and emerging markets and the successful implementation of initiatives in cashew production and processing in Africa are further expected to drive the global cashew market during the forecast period.
European Countries And The Increasing Demand For Cashew Nut
In Europe, consumers are willing to spend more on quality foods. Consumers are also looking for new products due to increased health awareness and nutritional facts. Cashew nuts are primarily used in the European market as roasted-and-salted snacks. Lately, cashew nuts also turn out to be attractive to industrial users and are used for cookies and cereals, and is also promoted as a topping on ice cream. Usually, whole kernels, lacking defects or blemishes, are essential for the snack trade, and the broken pieces are necessary for other confectionery, biscuits, bakery products, and other prepared foods in the region. European cashew imports are increasing, driven by the health trend. The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, and the growing markets in Central and Eastern Europe offer opportunities for developing country suppliers. According to ITC Trade, in 2019, the import volume of cashew nuts in Germany reached 60,222 metric tons which were valued at USD 477,073 thousand.
The import of in-shell cashew nuts is insignificant in the region. In the newer markets, such as Eastern Europe, there is an inclination in kernel grades toward the superior types, notably from the pieces to the wholes.
European retailers have increased their retail prices for cashews, and consumption is still seen good. The health benefits of nuts may be the reason for the sustained demand.
Vietnam has maintained its position as the world’s largest producer and exporter of cashew nuts in 2020, exporting an estimated 450,000 tonnes of cashew kernels worth 3.2 billion USD, according to the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas). While India imports 50% to 60% of raw cashew for processing from Africa and Asia.
African countries produce about 45% or 1.2 million tonnes of global cashew nuts annually. However, only 10% of this is processed locally, according to the African Cashew Initiative, a project backed by the German government, private companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Members of the initiative include five African producers: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mozambique.
For all the remarkable cashew nut growth, however, the overall benefits to the cashew growing areas are limited. Only a small number of small-scale farmers are reaping the benefits.
In Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, the country that is leading the cashew market has been experiencing a continuous increase in the production of cashews for the past five years, and it is estimated that production will go up by about 7% in the forecast period of the report.
An average cashew plant starts bearing fruits only after 4-5 years after plantation, and its productivity tends to start declining after 15 years of age when old trees are replaced with younger ones. In Côte d’Ivoire, most cashew trees are relatively young with higher yields, with more than 10% of the acreage being less than 10 years in age. The acreage is further expanding with improved and advanced varieties bring planted every year. Owing to higher productions, Côte d’Ivoire is also the highest exporter of cashews in Africa.