The consumption value of chia seeds in Africa was USD 1.20 million in 2019, and it is projected to reach a value of USD 1.33 million by the end of the forecast period, with a CAGR of 2.0%. The drivers identified in the market are increasing popularity of vegan protein-based foods, increasing the use of chia seeds in the food industry, increased use as animal feed, and growing popularity of superfoods. The restraints identified in the market are geographically limited cultivating areas, easy availability of cheaper alternative seeds, and rapid price fluctuations.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for Vegan Protein-based Food
The human consumption of omega-6 fatty acids is usually high, but it is essential to maintain the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body. Therefore, chia seeds act as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for the vegetarian people, by providing protein content that is almost equal to an egg protein. As the number of health-conscious people increases concomitantly, with the rising popularity of cruelty-free foods, more number of people are moving toward inculcating a healthier lifestyle with vegetarian options for proteins, vitamins, and fiber, which are easily available as ready-to-eat packaged foods. Most available snacking options lack nutrients and dietary fiber and are not healthy food options. On the other hand, chia seeds are good for health, and snacks made from chia seeds are popular as healthy food options among consumers.
Growing Popularity of Chia Seed Cultivation in Kenya
The production of chia seeds in Kenya is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period. In Kenya, the farmers have shifted their farming patterns from traditional crops, such as maize, toward the cultivation of lucrative crops, like chia. Farmers are able to fetch about USD 15 per kg from these seeds. Chia seeds are gaining popularity in the country not only because of the health benefits that the crop possesses but also because farmers now want a less laborious crop. Chia seeds have made their way to the local supermarkets, owing to the growing market of chia seeds. Busia is the only town in Kenya that cultivates organically certified chia seeds. About 200 farmers associated with the Momentum Trust have planted the crop on about 150 acres of land.
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