California Walnut Commission considers India as a one of the potential top five markets for California walnut growers in next few years. The Commission has been focusing to enhance its engagement with traders, retailers as well as the institutional channel besides consumers, to build awareness about California walnuts in the country.
Chief Executive Officer of California Walnut Commission, Michelle McNeil Connelly 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.”
Senior Marketing Director-International, California Walnut Commission, Pamela Graviet added, “We have a broad-based marketing programme. We work with dieticians 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.” 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.
The Commission is also keen to engage with restaurants, bakeries and influencers such as chefs and cooking channels. Indian representative of California Walnut Commission Keith Sunderlal said, “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 about 100 companies importing walnuts directly from California.”