Healthier snacking and eating habits among European consumers are boosting imports of tree nuts from the United States.
In 2017, the EU was the largest market for U.S. exports with almond sales rising by 30,000 tonnes to 247,027 tonnes compared to the previous marketing year. This represented 37% of total EU market share.
Similarly, walnut exports to the EU rose from 119,789 tonnes in the 2016 marketing year to 154,745 tonnes in 2017. The U.S. is also the main exporter of pistachios where the quality and reliability are appreciated by European customers, according to a USDA report.
In total, the U.S. tree nut export market to the EU reached $2.7 billion, with almonds (both in-shell and shelled) totaled $1.5 billion, followed by pistachios at $446 million and walnuts with almost $344 million. The EU’s food processing and snack industries are large users of nuts as an ingredient for confectionary and pastries.
Almonds are mainly used as an ingredient for producing marzipan, nougat and other sweets. Processors are also seeking ways to capitalize on the trend to healthier eating by launching new value-added products rather than focusing on purely higher volumes of sales.
Source: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: EU-28 Tree Nuts Annual 2018 – see here