Increased Consumption of Nuts and Seeds Fuelled by Growing Awareness about Healthy and Balanced Diet

The growing awareness about healthy diet has led to the increased consumption of nuts and seeds. Moderate consumption of nuts and seeds has a number of positive impacts on human health including reduced risks of coronary heart diseases, low blood cholesterol level, and lower risks of diabetes and gall stones.

The introduction of genetically modified nuts and seeds has further propelled the growth of the global nuts and seeds market. The global nuts market was worth US$1,137.06 bn in 2014 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 1.70% during the period between 2015 and 2021 to reach a valuation of US$1,279.44 bn by 2021. On the other hand, the global seeds market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 10.0% during the same period and reach a valuation of US$114.26 bn by 2021.

Why Consumers are Apprehensive about GMO Nuts and Seeds?

Genetically modified crops are usually preferred by farmers as they exhibit resistance to weeds and adverse environmental conditions, thereby increasing the production of crops. However, GMO crops, particularly seeds such as corn/maize and soybean have attracted intense opposition from critics who want the products containing GMO crops to be labelled properly as many believe that such crops might pose risks to human health. Though the current scientific consensus stresses that GM crops do not pose any greater risk to human health than conventional crops, consumers increasingly prefer organic and non-GMO food products over GMO food products. 


As a result, players in the food industry are focusing on organic crops and are acquiring smaller firms that manufacture natural products. For example, Danone SA has recently acquired WhiteWave Foods Co. for US$10.4 bn. WhiteWave’s Silk soy and almond beverages are a big hit among the consumers due to their natural, non-GMO ingredients. 

North America Witnesses Increased Consumption of Nuts and Seeds

Among the key regions in the global nuts and seeds market, Asia Pacific had been the leading region in 2014, accounting for over 90% of the overall market. Countries such as India and China have witnessed increased consumption of nuts and seeds. North America emerged as the second largest market for nuts and seeds and held 30% of the market in 2014.

In North America, the growing focus on healthy diet to reduce the prevalence of obesity and diabetes among the masses has led to the increased consumption of nuts and seeds. According to a new study by researchers at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the diet quality of an average American has improved significantly since 1999 with increased intake of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. This is expected to boost the growth of the nuts and seeds market in the region in the near future.

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