the peanut market


1.1 Definition and scope of study

The groundnut, or peanut, sometimes called peanut, is a legume born under the ground from the cultivation of its plant. Peanuts are not associated with the hazelnut family, but with dried fruits and nuts because of their similar benefits and energy intake.

Groundnuts are native to South America although they are currently grown in different parts of the world, although still limited to the requirements of the climate and soil. Groundnut cultivation is not popular in European countries, which are therefore major importers of seeds.

There are four types of peanuts basic on the market:

  • Runner (dominant type, most used for peanut butter)
  • Virginia (represents most roasted peanuts)
  • Spanish (usually used for candy)
  • Valencia (very sweet and usually roasted)

Historically, groundnut production in Portugal has been concentrated in the Algarve, particularly in Aljezur. Once important in this region, it eventually disappeared. As soon as a national association of peanut producers was set up in the 1980s, the crop was abandoned and the organisation disappeared. However, some small producers still produce for their own consumption and sell in organic grocery stores . Significant production in Portugal was still entirely destined for export before 2012. Since then, this scenario has changed as, in partnership with PepsiCo, a plantation has started to be exploited in the Ribatejo region, not only for export but also for domestic consumption.

In addition, peanuts have become one of the products most in demand, especially by sportsmen and women, due to the following factors the growing interest in nutrition and physical exercise in recent years . A few years ago, peanut butter was one of the foods least present on supermarket shelves and is now a fashionable product.

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