Cashew industry strives to get on the shelves of world supermarkets


Cashew industry strives to
Lafooco’s deep-processed cashew nuts have reached supermarket shelves in many international markets. Photo: T.L

The pressure is growing

Looking back to 2022, while the export turnover of the cashew industry reached US $ 3.08 billion, the import turnover of raw cashews consumed US $ 2.678 billion.

This shows that Vietnam’s cashew processing and exporting activities bring very low value. It is because of the main export of pre-processed cashews, Vietnam’s cashew industry is always dependent on international traders and is not allowed to determine prices in the market.

For many years in a row, the Vietnamese cashew industry has suffered when it is forced to price in both the raw and kernel markets. Profits of enterprises are increasingly shrinking when the price of raw cashew is increasing and the price of kernel is continuously declining.

The pressure on the Vietnamese cashew industry has grown when many African countries, which only specialize in exporting raw cashews, are starting to invest in cashew kernel processing. For example, in Ivory Coast, which is the world’s largest exporter of raw cashew nuts, Dr. Adama Coulibaly, General Director of the Ivory Coast Cotton and Cashew Council, said that in 2022, the country exported 36,807 tons of cashew kernels to many markets such as the US, EU, Australia.

Although this figure is very low compared to Vietnam’s export volume of more than 500,000 tons of cashew kernels, it also shows that Ivory Coast is trying to reach a higher segment instead of just selling raw cashews. This leads to the risk that raw cashew suppliers of Vietnam’s cashew industry will turn into competitors in the cashew kernel market in the near future.

Besides being under pressure from other countries’ cashew kernels, Vietnam’s cashew kernels are also under pressure from other nuts. Typically, almonds are currently in a state of oversupply, causing the price to drop sharply, even cheaper than cashews. Therefore, international roasters and retailers are prioritizing other nuts over cashews, and consumers also tend to choose cheaper nuts.

“Revolution” in processing

Facing increasing pressure, the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS) is promoting a “Strategy to develop Vietnam’s cashew industry in a new situation” to submit to the Government. In which, it proposes mechanisms and policies aimed at two goals: strongly developing deep processing, gaining a worthy position in the global cashew value chain and strongly developing the raw material area in the direction of quality and efficiency Mr. Pham Van Cong, the President of VINACAS said that, from a positive perspective, current challenges are an opportunity to help Vietnam’s cashew industry gain more motivation, focus resources for the “powerful revolution” in technology and equipment, and meet the needs of deep transformation in cashew processing.

In fact, many enterprises have actively invested in modern machinery and equipment to enhance deep processing. As a result, in addition to traditional products such as salted roasted cashews, roasted salted cashews and salted roasted silk shells, many new products were born, which were positively received by the market such as honey cashews, spiced cashews, wasabi cashews, white sesame dried cashews, and cashew candy.

Typically, Tan An Agricultural Products Processing and Food Export Co., Ltd (Tanimex – LA) has invested in deep processing since 2012 with the first product being fried salted cashews. After that, Tanimex – LA developed other products such as honey cashews, wasabi cashews, salted roasted cashews, and dried cashews.

Similarly, Long Son Joint Stock Company is promoting processing and exporting deeply processed cashew nuts. Currently, Long Son has quite a lot of deep-processed cashew products, such as salt-roasted cashews, salt-roasted silk-shelled cashews, salted fried cashews, sesame cashews, cheese cashews, garlic and chili cashews.

Deep processing accounts for a relatively modest proportion of Long Son’s cashew exports, but the company is persistently following this path to gradually increase the proportion of deeply processed products in the export structure. Many shipments of deep-processed cashew nuts of Hoang Son 1 Company have been successfully exported to the EU thanks to the EVFTA.

Another enterprise that has achieved a lot of success with deep-processed products is Long An Export Processing Joint Stock Company (Lafooco). Lafooco’s processed cashew nuts have been on shelves at many supermarkets in China, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, and Europe.

In addition to exporting through traditional channels, Lafooco has sold goods abroad via e-commerce channels and has received positive feedback from customers. In its development orientation, Lafooco said it will continue to research and develop a variety of instant products, snacks, and foods with cashew ingredients.

According to businesses, deep-processed cashew nuts have a higher value, through which businesses achieve better profit margins. In particular, deep-processed cashew nuts also open up opportunities for Vietnamese cashew businesses to export with their own brands, thereby enhancing the position of Vietnam’s cashew industry in the international market.


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