Demand for healthy food is increasing in many markets. This is an opportunity for Vietnam’s cashew nut.

According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Sweden, the growing demand for healthy snacks combined with the need for stable and sustainable sourcing are the leading drivers of growing consumer interest in cashews in Europe, including the Nordic countries.

Vietnam’s cashew nut is now used directly by many European consumers without roasting or frying.

Nuts, including cashews, are highly valued by European consumers. Consumption of nuts is expected to have the highest growth in the junk food segment. In large consuming countries, cashew nut is considered a healthier alternative to other salty snacks such as crisps, at the same time, being better than peanuts.

Many nutritionists around the world support the nutritional benefits of nuts. In particular, cashew nuts are rich in phosphorus, copper, and magnesium, which are not commonly found in other foods. It also has the lowest fat content among nuts. Nearly 80% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated fat, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Cashew nuts are also rich in tocopherols and phytosterols.

With these great health benefits, cashew nut is increasingly used in Europe. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy said that the largest segment using cashew nuts in Europe is snacks. About 90% of cashew nuts imported in Europe are sold as snacks, mostly salty roasted snacks.

For a long time, the most consumed savory snack in Europe has been French fries. But nuts (including cashews) are increasingly being consumed and considered a healthier option.

In the snack segment, two different trends are affecting cashew nut consumption in Europe. One is to develop different roast flavors to diversify products and suit different tastes of consumers. Another trend is the increasing availability of unsalted and unroasted cashews as a healthier alternative to salted snacks.

Demand for cashew nuts in Europe and China is increasing because this is a healthy nut.

In addition to the European market, demand for cashew nuts is also increasing as a healthy snack in many other markets. Ms. Chen Ying, General Secretary of the China Nuts Association (CNA), said nuts, including cashews, are being used more and more in this country because they are healthy. Imports of edible plant nuts into China have increased quite a bit since 2017. Nuts that are now used a lot in China are walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, cashews, and so on. In particular, cashews and pistachios are two types of nuts that China depends entirely on imports. Vietnam currently accounts for 70% of China’s cashew nut imports.

Not only make snacks, but cashew nuts are also becoming an important ingredient in many functional and healthy food products, such as breakfast cereals, cashew butter, cashew milk, cashew yogurt, cashew cheese, cashew protein snacks, etc. Besides, the use of cashews in home cooking as an ingredient in salads and meals is also increasing./.