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1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Groundnuts, or peanuts, are legumes born under soil from the cultivation of their plant. Contrary to common knowledge or the possible confusion caused by the name, peanuts are not nuts, but they are associated with the family of dried fruit and nuts because of their similar benefits and energetic intake.

Peanuts are believed to be originally from South America and are currently cultivated in different parts of the world, still though bounded to climate and soil requirements. Groundnut cultivation is indeed not popular among European countries, which are consequently large importers of the seed.

There are four basic market types of peanuts:

  • Runner (dominant type, most used for peanut butter)
  • Virginia (account for most of the roasted peanuts)
  • Spanish (typically used for candies)
  • Valencia (very sweet and usually roasted)

China and India are the world’s largest consumers of peanuts; in 2018 the two countries accounted for around 56% of global consumption. Meanwhile, Argentina is the largest exporter of peanuts.

Global price (USD per metric ton) in Q4 2019 was 1402.9, which is a large increase compared to 1261.5 in Q1 2014. During this period, the commodity demonstrated high levels of volatility. This can be explained by the fact that the industry has shifted towards a market-oriented pricing model, with less government intervention.

Global market players include Olam International, Kraft Foods Inc., and Hampton Farms, Inc, Star Snacks Co., LLC, Virginia Diner, Archer Daniels Midland, Diamond Foods, Inc.

The US is a large producer of peanuts. Since 2000 the production levels have increased slightly to reach around $1.1 billion in 2019. In 2018 around 60% of peanuts were made into peanut butter confirming the importance of this sub-segment of the market.

The most prevalent players in the US include Kraft Foods Inc., Hampton Farms, Star Snacks Co., LLC, Virginia Diner, Archer Daniels Midland, Diamond Foods, Inc.

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the peanut market | United States

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