Jaswant Bains, owner of Sacramento Packing and Valley View Foods, a prune and walnut grower claims that the California prune industry should do more to promote the health aspects of their products and develop developing markets like India.
Sacramento Packing primarily handles prunes, while Valley View Food brand produces prune juice concentrate. The company also packs in shell and shelled walnuts. Currently Sacramento Packing is installing a new shelling plant which will be operational by January 2018.
The Clipper: Where will the growth in the dried fruit market come from in the future? What are your next target markets?
Jaswant Bains: At the moment I see growth everywhere. I attended the session about India at the almond conference. India is currently the fastest growing economy in the world. With one.2 billion people. I was surprised by the literacy rate which is expected to rise to 80% in the next 5 to 10 years. The population is very young. I think there are lots of opportunities. I also think there is lots of opportunities all over Asia. As the people enter the middle class the consumption patterns change. Many people know want to cut down on sugar and fat. Prunes and walnuts are perfectly positioned for increased health consciousness. But to be successful in India we have to get the medical community involved. And in India people do not even know what prunes are. Almonds have been known for centuries, walnuts as well. So we have to communicate to the Indian population what prunes are. I think it can be done. In the beginning of the 1980’s nobody knew what prunes were in Japan. And at one time the market in Japan was worth 25,000-30,000 t. I generally see great opportunities in places where people mainly eat rice.
Read in full in the upcoming print edition of THE CLIPPER MAGAZINE
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