Cashew nut consumption is changing as lifestyles change

Changing lifestyles and increasing disposable income are expected to drive the growth of the cashew market in India in the coming years. India remains the largest consumer of cashews in the world, processing nearly half of the world’s cashews and consuming 40 percent of global production, says J. Rajmohan Pillai, president of Beta Group, which owns the NutKing brand. The United States is a distant second, accounting for 10 to 15 percent of world consumption. Instead, India exports only 10 percent of its production, compared to 35 percent in the pre-pandemic period. This is mainly due to the huge increase in domestic demand replacing exports.  Giridhar Prabhu, Achal Industries, Mangalore pointed out that cashews were earlier used as a snack and are now part of household staples thanks to supermarkets and large retailers making the product available to consumers. 

Online food suppliers have also played an important role in ensuring the availability of cashew nuts. In addition, to the use of cashew nuts as a raw material in the HORECA segment, dessert manufacturers have also increased consumption. According to him, the increase in domestic consumption affected exports.

 Health awareness  

  With health awareness on the rise, Pillai made consumers choose a healthy snack, resulting in increased demand for aromatic cashews. However, this is likely to have a negative impact on the country’s cashew nut market as the local population prefers other lighter snacks that are cheaper on the go. The cashew market has seen rapid changes in consumption habits in recent years, which is mainly due to the increase in the share of spiced cashew varieties in the retail market. The kernel prices are expected to be at ₹ 615-625/kg this fiscal, nearly five percent higher than a year ago due to higher domestic demand, changing food habits, and better consumer affordability.

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