Plant-based protein and new consumption channels are key for the nut and dried fruit industry in the midst of COVID-19.
June 16, 2020. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) launched a series of webinars bringing together over 1500 professionals from 75 countries within the nut and dried fruit industry. The expert-led webinars discussed new trends like plant-based protein, consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, crop forecasts, and product development.
As consumers become more health conscientious and include more plant-based protein, nuts and dried fruit are apt to benefit. Furthermore, despite COVID-19, many products saw increases in retail demand and the experts believe it is necessary to find new channels of consumption via product innovation.
During the webinars, experts from the most relevant producing and consuming origins around the world also discussed preliminary crop forecasts –still subject to the end of the crop year conditions– and supply expectations for the 2020/21 season.
Regarding tree nuts, with yet another annual increase of 16% compared to the previous season, the global crop is forecasted to reach around 5.4 million metric tons (kernel basis, except pistachios in-shell) in 2020/2021; representing an increment of over 730,000 MT from 2019/20. Pine nut, pistachio, almond and pecan crops are expected to be significantly higher than last year, while walnuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts are forecasted at similar levels to the prior season.
Similarly, and anticipating an increment of 4.5 million MT from 2019/20, peanut production is forecasted at 46.1 million MT (in-shell basis) for this season. As for dried fruit, total production in 2020/21 is expected to reach over 3 million MT, remaining within the same levels reached in 2019/20.
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