Badam boom: India is now the world’s No 1 almond importer
The health-conscious Indian seems to be gobbling almonds like never before, leading the country to topple China and Spain to emerge as the world’s largest consumer of the nut in recent times.
Almond imports into India rose 7 per cent to worth $600 million (about ₹3,900 crore) last year against $560 million (₹3,640 crore) in 2016, according to Almond Board of California data.
“The pace of imports has risen sharply in the last few months with the use of almond as an ingredient in many products, including health drinks, biscuits and ice-creams,” said Sudarshan Mazumdar, Regional Director, ABC.
In the last six months, imports surged 29 per cent to 154 million pounds (one pound equals 0.45 kg). In the same period, China and Spain shipped in 138 million pounds and 119 million pounds, respectively. During the almond crop year 2016-17 (August to July), Spain topped the table, importing 210 million pounds, followed by India, with 167 million pounds, and China, with 150 million pounds.
Almond consumption has seen double-digit growth in India thanks to the surge in the economy, increasing spending power, and an increasingly health-conscious middle-class, said Mazumdar.
Emily Fleishmann, Senior Director of Global Marketing, Almond Board of California, said the Board has increased the promotional and awareness spends in India by 33 per cent to $6 million ($4.5 million).
California accounts for 80 per cent of the world’s almond production. Of this 33 per cent in consumed in the US and Canada, while 67 per cent is exported to 90 countries.
In 2016-17, world almond production stood at 2.01 billion pounds, while it has already hit 2.25 billion pounds this year, till February.
About the Almond Board
Almond Board of California in India
India has a rich and long standing tradition of almond consumption. The Almond Board of California celebrates this tradition and looks at the county as a market of great potential and importance. This is a reason for the board to continue to invest resources to run and support an active marketing, trade and market access programme in the country.
By the means of this programme, the board aims to build awareness around the multiple nutritional benefits of consuming almonds every day post validating them through learnings obtained from various nutrition researches.
To achieve this and as a part of the India programme, Almond Board of California engages with consumers, health care professionals, importers , food companies, government and regulatory agencies within the country.