High Consumption in Underdeveloped and Developing Regions to Propel Market Growth

Cowpeas have garnered immense popularity around the world over the past few years due to a range of factors, including increasing consumer demand for plant-based proteins, significant rise in the number of vegans and herbivore population worldwide, and growing consumer awareness pertaining to the benefits and properties of natural legumes. The production of cowpeas continues to grow in several regions around the world, owing to nutraceutical and nutritional properties and favorable social and economic production parameters– a trend that is expected to bolster the growth of the global cowpeas market during the forecast period.

Over the past few years, cowpeas are increasingly being included in food security programs in several regions of the world. The demand for cowpeas is on the rise, as cowpeas are rich in nutraceutical compounds such as santioxidants, polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and dietary fibers. While cowpeas have a high nutritional content and are relatively safe, their production stability, productivity, and high tolerance to environmental stress, including drought, is another major factor that is likely to boost to the growth of the global cowpeas market during the assessment period.

Favorable government initiatives, increasing consumer affinity toward plant-based products, influx of a number of brands that are mainly focused on including plant-based proteins in their product portfolio, and effective pricing strategies are some of the other major factors projected to drive the global cowpeas market past the US$ 10.5 Bn mark by the end of 2030.

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Increasing Cultivation Volume in Arid, Semi-arid Regions to Fuel Demand

Traditionally, cowpeas are the most vital food sources across the tropical, semi-arid, and arid regions of Asia Pacific, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. The consumption of cowpeas is relatively high in the continent of Africa in comparison with that in other regions of the world. Over the past few decades, cowpeas have emerged as lucrative revenue-generating crops for farmers and grain traders around the world– a trend that is likely to continue during the forecast period. As per the data from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the production of cowpeas is witnessing a year-on-year growth in several major regions of the world. Research and development activities continue to explore the stability and adaptability of various genotypes of cowpeas, including hybrid, lineage, and cultivar in various environmental conditions. The major players in the cowpeas market are increasingly focusing on modifying production systems by improving plant density, spacing, and other parameters to enhance productivity and the economic viability of cowpeas in major cowpeas producing regions.

In addition, as the demand for sustainable cropping systems continues to grow around the world, particularly in sub-humid tropical regions, the production of cowpeas has witnessed considerable growth, as it addresses the requirements of modern-day farming. Furthermore, cowpeas also play an imperative role in improving the fertility of the soil due to the exceptional biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Cowpeas, thus, continue to attract more number of farmers and grain traders.

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Demand for Cowpeas to Remain High in Developing Regions amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have a low impact on the overall growth of the global cowpeas market, as production and cultivation of vital crops are anticipated to remain unaffected. Moreover, cowpeas are critical legumes in underdeveloped and developing regions of the world and significant part of the food security programs in these regions due to which, their demand is likely to remain high amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, in several regions of the world, cowpeas are gaining immense popularity as a healthier alternative to soya bean. Thus, the cowpeas market is projected to witness considerable growth in 2020 and beyond.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The global cowpeas market is expected to expand at a healthy CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. The market growth is primarily driven by increasing demand for plant-based proteins, rising production of cowpeas in underdeveloped and developing regions, support from governments in various regions, and inclusion of cowpeas in food security programs worldwide. Market players should focus on improving production systems of cowpeas to gain a competitive edge in the current market landscape. Marketing strategies should largely revolve around creating awareness pertaining to the health benefits of cowpeas.

Cowpeas Market: Overview

  • The global cowpeas market’s value is estimated to cross US$3Bn in 2020, finds Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a recent study. According to the report, the market is expected to surpass US$ 10.5 Bn by 2030, at a CAGR of 5.3%.
  • Cowpea crop has been gaining traction among the pulse and legume segment as it is the most efficient crop with high storage capacity and its increasing demand as a coffee substitute
  • Farmers of cowpeas are focusing on combinations of cowpeas seed and the remaining cowpeas from the crop for replanting. Moreover, leading players engaged in the production of cowpeas are emphasizing on continuous collaboration activities to expand their geographical presence and product portfolio as well as to increase production capacity.
  • Demand for cowpeas is rising from the food & beverages industry, as it enhances the nutritional profile, taste, and texture of food products. Awareness about healthy lifestyle and nutritional food is increasing among consumers due to which, consumers are preferring high-quality, natural, and organic products. Moreover, consumers are curious about the quality of ingredients used in food products, and prefer healthy, nutritious, tasty, innovative food products.

Cowpeas: Market Frontrunners

  • Of 100tons, 90 tons are sold as conventional cowpeas. However, organic cowpeas are gaining massive traction among end users and the segment is expected to grow at 7% CAGR during the forecast period.
  • Whole cowpeas accounts for a leading market share of over 48%
  • B2B end-use application segment is estimate to dominate with volume market share of 8% in 2020. The demand for cowpeas is rising from food service industry at a CAGR of 6%.
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA) is expected to remain a frontrunner in the production of cowpeas and this market in the region is expected to witness steady growth rate during the forecast period. In addition, Asia Pacific excluding Japan is likely to account for 5% of market value share in 2020 in the cowpeas market.

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Cowpeas Market: Trends

  • Willingness of food product manufacturers to pay premium prices for high-quality plant-based ingredients: Consumers are preferring high-quality, natural, and organic products. Moreover, consumers are curious about the quality of the ingredients used in food products, and choosing healthy, nutritious, tasty, and innovative food products. Manufacturers of bakery, snacks, and confectionery products require plant-based ingredients to enhance texture, flavor, aroma, appearance, and nutritional profile of the product. Due to multiple benefits as well as increasing number of health-conscious consumers, food manufacturers are ready to pay premium prices for high-quality, sustainable natural food ingredients, as the use of these will enable them to capture a larger customer base.
  • Plant-based food ingredients becoming part of mainstream market: The search for clean-label products has resulted in manufacturers of food products opting for plant-based sources such as plant-extracts or vegetable, pulses, and powders. Moreover, an increasing number of consumers are adopting vegan lifestyle, which is resulting in popularity of plant-based ingredients. Health concerns and ethical reasons have resulted in many people opting for meat substitutes due to which, plant-based ingredients such as cowpeas are gaining popularity, especially in developing regions such as Asia Pacific. These cowpea ingredients are now being manufactured by many companies around the globe to cater to vegans, reducetarians, and flexitarians.

Cowpeas Market: Strategies

  • Emerging economies are offering growth opportunities to various companies. With drastic growth in population, high rate of urbanization, and increased disposable incomes leading to rise in the basic standard of living, emerging markets offer greater potential for manufacturers to address dietary shifts of consumers toward high-value products, while catering to local needs and tastes.
  • Companies that willingly comply with global environmental standards and food safety certification requirements are expected to dominate the market. Such certifications include Halal, Kosher, and Organic.

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Cowpeas Market: Players

  • Some of the key actors including
    • producers
    • cultivators
    • brands operating in the cowpeas market
    • as profiled in the study
    • are Natureland Organics
    • Organic Tattva
    • Lobia, Elworld
    • BRS‐Tumucumaque
    • BRS‐Xiquexique
    • BRS‐Aracê
    • Ancient Wisdom
    • others