The cashew kernel 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 increase in the number of primary processing units in Africa. The restraints identified in the market are weather-related uncertainties, food safety issues, and prevalence of small-scale primary processing infrastructure.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand From European Countries
In Europe, consumers are willing to spend more for quality foods. Consumers are also looking for new products due to increased health awareness and nutritional facts. Cashew kernels are largely used in the European market as a roasted-and-salted snack. Lately, cashew kernel also turns out to be interesting to industrial users and is 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 essential for other confectionery, biscuits, bakery products, and other prepared foods in the region.European cashew kernel 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. In 2016, the import volume of cashew nuts reached 180,000 metric ton. Of this, nearly all (over 99%) concerned cashew kernels. 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. The W320 is the leading grade in the imports. Lastly, 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.
The Cashew Kernel Market is Segmented by Grade
The most accepted grades in the market are WW-180, WW-210, WW-240, and WW-320. However, up till now, there are no automated systems available in the market to grade the white wholes segment and estimate the standard characteristics, like color and geometry. From Côte d’Ivoire, white kernels are mainly exported to Europe, the United States, and Canada. In order to access the global market price, cashews under this grade should be completely free from infestation, insect damage, and mold, and the general grades are SW-180, SW-210, SW-240, SW-320, and SW-450. As the prices are not available on public domains, EU buyers generally decide their scorched wholes grade cashew prices based on online auctions. From Côte d’Ivoire, Scorched kernels are mainly exported to Morocco. Nuts, splits, large white pieces, and small white pieces are considered under the white piece grade. In the European market, they are generally considered as the substitute for almonds, hazelnuts, or in trail mixes. In Italy, sometimes, small white pieces are used in pesto sauce and for coating ice cream.
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