Over 70 expert guest speakers led discussions about the industry, touching on topics like sustainability, crop forecasts, supply and demand, health benefits, and efforts to increase consumption. Henniel was invited, on behalf of Dried Fruit South Africa, to present the positive impact of their marketing strategy to stimulate consumer demand for the dried fruit category in South Africa.
June 2, 2021. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC), has just concluded their 2021 INC 3D Online Conference which took place May 25-27. The conference brought together more than 1,300 industry professionals in the nut and dried fruit industry from over 70 countries around the world.
The conference featured highly informative working group sessions for each product under the INC umbrella and they covered the next crop forecasts, supply and demand, consumption, and many more of the hottest topics like sustainability, tariffs, and the impact of COVID-19 on the nut and dried fruit industry. Demand across the entire industry continues to climb and there is an increase in efforts to maintain the growing consumption. Despite the many challenges presented by COVID-19, there have also been opportunities, like increased snacking, ingredient-based usage, home baking, and an increased focus on health foods. The working groups also elaborated on the growing importance of sustainability and efforts being taken by the sector to increase sustainable activities. The industry experts also addressed the shipping and logistic challenges, along with the impact of climate change on crops.
Tree nut production in 2021/2022 is forecasted to reach similar levels to the previous season: global production is estimated at 5.2 million metric tons (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts in kernel basis; pistachios in-shell basis), with expected annual increments between 16% and 3% in pine nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, walnuts and almonds, mainly backed by increased planted areas and/or yields. Climate change, mostly droughts and frosts, might impact some crop outcomes.
Similarly, forecasted at 47.8 million MT (in-shell basis), global peanut production is also anticipated to remain within the previous season range. The outlook on overall volumes and quality is optimistic. Driven by the healthy and plant-based diets trends, snacking and new product consumption has been on the rise in Europe as well as in Argentina, although the export market remains this origin’s main focus. Chinese domestic market, traditionally dominated by oil consumption, is also seeing some growth in snacking and ingredients.
Mainly due to a 34% and 11% expected increment in global prune and table date production respectively, total dried fruit production (table dates, dried apricots, sweetened dried cranberries, dried figs, prunes and dried grapes –raisins, Sultanas and currants) for 2021/22 is forecasted at 3.1 million metric tons, up by 7% compared to 2020/21. Carry-over stocks are expected to be reduced by 7% from 2021/22 and overall supply and demand in balance. Retail sales were increased during 2020 as a result of lockdowns.
Moreover, participants were able to watch the on-demand sessions of Nutfruit & Immunity, covering the health benefits of nuts and dried fruit in the context of COVID-19, Nutfruit & Sustainability, covering how the nut and dried fruit industry can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Industry Marketing Programs Update, highlighting the amazing marketing campaigns currently underway around the world which promote the consumption of nuts and dried fruits. The conference also offered sponsor sessions and an exhibition hall providing the event’s sponsors with a direct connection to the attendees to present business solutions. All of the sessions were available in Nutflix, which served as a one-stop place to watch every session from the conference.
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