The European Union is still the largest export market for U.S. nuts, according to the “2018 Tree Nuts Annual” report. In 2017, a total of 32% of all US tree nuts were imported to the EU, generating a market share of 37%. With an export volume of nearly $344 million, walnuts rank third, coming in after pistachios at $446 million and almonds at $1.5 billion.
Walnuts on the rise
The report also finds that walnut consumption rates are continuing to develop positively: With their many nutrients, walnuts are enjoying growing popularity as a snack. The ongoing publications of studies and research which emphasize the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts have made health-conscious consumers more aware of their features.
Expressed in absolute figures, this means that the number of walnuts (in-shell) imported from the U.S. is almost twice as large as the total amount from non-EU countries which export walnuts to the EU (including Chile, Moldavia, Ukraine, Australia, etc.). More specifically, there were 154,745 tons from the USA versus 86,822 tons from all other countries. Imports from the US have grown dramatically: in 2014/2015, they totaled 97,555 tons, whereas in 2015/2016 they had reached 119,789 tons – a truly exciting development for US exporters.
Praise for US exporters
These developments make clear what the role of organizations such as the CWC is: “Here US exporters are continuing to offer well-designed consumer ad campaigns which emphasize the health benefits of walnuts as well as key messages about their origin, quality and versatility. These measures have a very positive impact on the image of California walnuts and increase people's awareness about their good effects on our health." We are pleased by how successful these events have been and will stay on course.