California Walnut Commission capitalising on India's growing market

The California Walnut Commission is optimistic about India becoming one of the top five markets for California walnut growers in the next few years. 

The Commission has been focusing on stepping up its engagement with traders, retailers as well as the institutional channel, besides consumers, to build awareness about California walnuts in the country.

Michelle McNeil Connelly, Chief Executive Officer, California Walnut Commission, said: “Given the growth momentum that we have seen, we are optimistic that India will become among our top five markets in the next two to three years."

"India is a unique market as walnuts have been part of the country’s cultural heritage. With the growing economy and change in eating habits as Indian consumers are looking for healthier options, walnut is a perfect fit.”

The export value of shipments of California Walnuts to India in 2016-17 crop year more than doubled compared to that shipped in the 2015-16 and the Commission expects exports to the country to grow at 25-30 per cent annually for the next few years.

California walnut crop year is taken as the September-August period. India first allowed export of walnuts from the US in 2013. From nutritionists to retailers, the commission has been promoting California walnuts across the entire value chain in the country. 

Pamela Graviet, Senior Marketing Director-International, California Walnut Commission, added, “We have a broad-based marketing programme. We work with dietitians and nutritionists and also have large scale local activation and promotional events for trade and consumers to sample and learn more about California walnuts, besides focusing on print and digital campaigns. We are also working with food services and institutional clients.”

In recent times, the commission has been focusing on engaging with restaurants and bakeries and influences such as chefs and cooking channels.

Keith Sunderlal, India representative of the California Walnut Commission, added, “Over the past three years, we have been making an intense effort to present ourselves as a business opportunity for the Indian dry fruit trade, and now with the bigger players involved, we have almost 100 companies importing walnuts directly from California.”

Source: thehindubusinessline.com

Publication date: 11/1/2017


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