Gen Z, the new cashew nut consumer
More than 350 delegates from 40 countries and territories took part in the 12th Vinacas Golden Cashew Rendezvous in HCM City to discuss measures and initiatives to help the global cashew industry develop sustainably.
Organised by the Việt Nam Cashew Association and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the two-day conference starting on February 27, part of a national trade promotion programme, seeks to promote cashew trade and expand markets.
Phạm Văn Công, chairman of the Việt Nam Cashew Association, said cashew exports fell by 15.1 per cent to US$3.07 billion last year, marking the end of a decade of growth.
In 2023, the nuts would continue to face low demand, and so the association has set an export target of only $3.1 billion, he said.
The industry would continue with its policy of reducing quantity and improving quality, he said.
Michael Waring, president of the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC), said the resilience of the sector notwithstanding, it is increasingly challenging for companies to maintain production due to the slowing global economic growth and high costs.
He said the INC has created a multi-country dissemination plan that focuses on Gen Z, the new nut consumer, and it is being carried out in China and would next be held in India.
There are 2.47 billion Gen-Z consumers globally, and they would remain the largest consumer group until 2030 and become key drivers of the global market, he said.
They are significant influencers of household purchasing decisions, and health and wellness are their key concerns, and cashew products perfectly dovetail with this, he said.
The cashew and nut industries should strengthen their reach to this generation, he added.
Vũ Bá Phú, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, said with green production and trade becoming a popular trend globally, the cashew industry needs to be a pioneer in it to meet market demand, ensure traceability of its products and build the value chain to raise its competitiveness in the global market and penetrate demanding markets such as the EU, US and Japan.
Businesses and the industry need to have a methodical strategy for brand building to maximise the value of Việt Nam’s cashew industry, which leads the world in terms of exports, he said.
Vinacas signed an MoU with the Cambodia Cashew Nut Association to mutually develop their cashew industries.
Uon Silot, chairman of the Cambodia Nut Cashew Association, said more than 90 per cent of his country’s raw cashew was supplied to processors in Việt Nam.
He said scientific studies show that Cambodian cashew nut has high-quality in terms of both out-turn and nut size and so its prices are always high.
It hopes to supply more good quality cashew to Việt Nam, he said.
He said his government wants to raise the ratio of raw cashew nut processed in the coming years, and so wants to co-operate with Vietnamese and other foreign companies, who have strength in terms of processing technologies.
Adama Coulibaly, director general of Ivory Coast’s Cashew and Cotton Council, said his country is one of the largest suppliers of raw cashew in the world and wants to co-operate with Việt Nam since it has good processing technology to develop the cashew sector, including by learning from it innovative methods of processing by-products.
Delegates are set to be taken to cashew orchards and processing factories in Tây Ninh and Cambodia after the conference.