Sunflower Seeds Market size is projected to expand at a commendable pace over 2022-2028, given its proliferating presence in the snack industry worldwide. The nutritional value of sunflower seeds is a key factor bolstering its intake, as it is packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and is an excellent source of essential minerals and vitamins.
The sunflower seed is technically the fruit of the sunflower plant that can be a part of healthy diets when consumed in moderation, as opposed to other high-calorie, unhealthy snacks. Sunflower seeds are available in various flavors, and are often consumed as a snack, sprinkled on dishes, as well as added to the baked goods.
Significant expansion of grocery and supermarket chains, especially in the UK, alongside the rapid cultivation of sunflower crops in temperate and tropical regions, will foster the sunflower seeds industry trends over the forecast spell. In 2020, the total number of the UK-based grocery stores rose by 1.4%. In addition, high awareness about the sunflower seed’s benefits such as the protection of the cells of the body against free radical damage and prevention of chronic diseases will also amplify market penetration over the foreseeable future.
With regards to product, the oilseed segment is set to hold a considerable share by 2028, which can be credited to the accelerating demand for this plant-based, high-quality food as a source of diet for humans as well as raw materials for the food industry. The segmental expansion can also be proliferated by the rising number of oilseed crop producers in countries such as India. Oilseeds occupy a crucial and prominent position in the agricultural economy in the country.
On the regional front, the Europe sunflower seeds industry will depict a remarkable growth rate over the forecast spell, owing to the increase in sunflower production and yields in Eastern Europe. The region is among the largest manufacturers of sunflower seeds, mainly for the production of sunflower oil, as well as for use in snacks and baked goods. For example, Ukraine registered the highest sunflower seed production volume globally in the 2019-2020 crop year.
Prominent sunflower seeds market participants include Nuseed, American Meadows, Mahyco, Sakata, Martin US Enterprises, Giant Snacks, DuPont, Limagrain, Kenkko, and ConAgra Foods (Conagra Brands), among others. These firms are incorporating varied strategies such as innovative product launches and business expansions to expand their footprint across the globe.
For instance, in January 2021, Organic Condiments added 32 new products, including organic sunflower seeds, to its vast portfolio of 100% natural and certified organic condiments & spices, to cater to the multiple consumer segments in India. Meanwhile, Beyond the Equator announced the launch of its gluten-free Sunflower Seed Flour in December 2020, with high protein content and low carbs as compared to the traditional gluten-free flours like rice flour.
The coronavirus outbreak has generated a serious economic crisis and triggered substantial changes in the food supply chains. Infections and quarantine measures also have prevented the regular flow of connected services and certain goods. However, several farmers are increasingly focusing on sunflower crop cultivation in recent months, mainly to boost morale amid the pandemic. In 2020, a farmer in Wisconsin, Scott Thompson, announced his intention to plant over 2 million sunflowers across 22-acre of land in above 15 fields. Initiatives such as this could, in turn, help improve sunflower seeds market share penetration over the coming years.
In India, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University also introduced the latest hybrid variety of sunflower seeds in 2021, with an aim to serve the increasing demand for sunflower oils as well as export to other countries such as Ukraine, Argentina, and Russia. These escalating sunflower seeds extraction for the production of oils, alongside the gradual relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, may help manufacturers in the sunflower seeds market regain their share in years to come.