Enthused by India's robust growth and rich tradition of nut consumption, California Walnuts is keen to help the country meet its "skyrocketing" demand for the key dry fruit and address many health problems, officials said here today.
The California walnut industry, California Walnut Commission (CWC), is made up of over 4,000 walnut growers and 93 walnut handlers/processors.
"We see a tremendous potential in Indian walnut market.
Right now we are only at 14,000 metric tonnes. It is only a small penetration. We can grow. India is a core part of our long term strategy because there's tremendous opportunity in a lot of different products, particularly in the Indian-style sweets," said Michelle Connell, CEO CWC.
She said the Indian producers were already benefiting from their strong marketing and promotion of walnut's health benefits by roping in nutritionists, dietitians, doctors, bakeries, confectioners and through direct advertising.
"When the price rises because of the high demand, everybody makes more money," she said.
"We are very excited about the market. We have seen dramatic growth owing to our partners here in India. We know we have just begun. There is a lot more potential here and we are excited to continue to expand and showcase the walnuts for our consumers," Connell said.
Terming India as a "very discerning" market, senior Marketing Director CWC Pamela Graviet said the demand was more for the natural products.
She said a "rich cultural heritage" of dry fruit consumption played an important part in the growth of the walnut market.
"It's not a foreign item here. It's a natural item to eat. Because of the vegetarian-based culture, there is huge opportunity for walnut to become not just an added ingredient but the centrestage ingredient of the plate," Pamela said.
Walnuts have a unique characteristic and that has to do with omega 3 fatty acids, Keith Sunderlal, India representative of CWC, said.
Sunderlal said Indians are predominately vegetarians and as a result it is a protein-deficient society.
"There is a lot of interest in nuts globally. It's a trend we latch on to and help to push it. Globally as well as here in India the demand for walnuts has skyrocketed," he told
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)