Quinoa is a member of the goosefoot family of flowering plants, also referred to as Chenopodiaceous. The same group of flowering plants includes plants, such as sugar beet, beet, swiss chard and spinach and several other species. Quinoa crops can be cultivated in adverse climatic conditions, such as frosts and droughts.
It is a strong crop that can tolerate water with elevated levels of salt. Botanically, quinoa is not categorized as a grain, it is known as a pseudo-cereal. This means it is a non-grassy plant used in much the same way as cereals and grains with a similar nutritional profile.
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The seeds of pseudo-cereals can be milled and ground into flour just as other grains and cereals.
Its three prominent varieties — whole grain white, red and black — are predominantly cultivated globally, of which Latin America represents the meteoric proportion. Quinoa is considered to be a healthier option when compared to starchy grains. Quinoa is also classified as a super food due to its beneficial inherent characteristics, such as the fact that it is protein-rich, high in vitamins and fiber and low in fat.
Against the backdrop of increasing demand for quinoa, not only from Latin American countries but also from several developed markets, the production of quinoa exceeded 235 thousand metric tons in 2016, from merely 95 thousand metric tons in 2012.
Quinoa is widely grown in the Latin America region; the three most important producing countries are Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Due to the growing demand, the global market has also been witnessing an upward growth trend in the prices of Quinoa, especially since the past couple of years. Since price is the function of demand and the demand for quinoa has augmented in developing countries, the sudden price increase was expected.
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Quinoa Market Segmentation
Quinoa market can be segmented by product type, by origin and by region.
By product type, the quinoa market is segmented as quinoa grain, intermediate products and processed products. The intermediate products segment is further segmented into flakes, pops and quinoa flour. The processed product segment is further segmented into muesli, granola, bars, cookies and pasta.
Furthermore, by certification, the quinoa market is segmented into conventional, organic, fair trade and dual (certified organic and fair trade).
The Quinoa market is further segmented by region into Latin America, North America, Europe, CIS & Russia, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan, and Middle East and Africa. In regional segments, Latin America and North America possess significant potential whereas Europe and other developing markets, such as Asia-Pacific and MEA, will create growth opportunities for quinoa over the forecast period.
Quinoa Global Market Trends and Market Drivers:
Quinoa provides a multitude of health benefits. It is a rich source of protein, amino acids, fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin -E and various beneficial antioxidants, which are anticipated to contribute to the growth of the global quinoa market over the coming years. Associated health benefits include improved heart health condition, lowered cholesterol, liver protection, anemia prevention and improved digestion. Quinoa also prevents kidney stones. It also helps in improving metabolic function, boosts energy levels in the body, helps in managing diabetes and eliminating constipation and diarrhea and alleviates gastrointestinal discomfort.
The Quinoa market is mainly driven by its increasing application and usage in the food industry. Quinoa is high in demand as it is gluten free. It is used as a substitute for rice and as a super cereal in snack foods, such as pasta; in multi-grain infant cereals; and in baking products. As it is gluten free, bread volume is reduced when quinoa flour content is up to 10% of the total dough and hence, its growing applications in the food industry are expected to fuel the market growth of quinoa.
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The rising prices of Quinoa are restraining the growth of the market. Quinoa’s evolution from Amerindian staple to superfood has also wedged local consumption patterns. Increasing prices have made it difficult for low-income households to afford quinoa. As prices for bread and rice have not augmented at the same pace, households are now consuming these products as they are the cost effective alternative.
Quinoa Market Key Players:
Key global market players manufacturing different types of quinoa products include Big Oz, Irupana Andean Organic Food, Quinoa Foods Company, Andean Valley, Alter Eco, Andean Naturals, Northern Quinoa, Ancient Harvest, The British Quinoa Company, Arrowhead Mills and Highland Farm Foods.
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