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Stock Market Quotes

Consumption Trends

Demand for crops obviously originate from what people eat; dietary habits drive demand directly through food-chains and indirectly through feed-chains. Subtleties of crop-types that go into food-chains get lost in bulk-trades, but as direct-sales channels emerge for specific varieties, market research into what people eat and how they prepare their food becomes critically important. Accordingly, we devote considerable effort to dietary trends in identifying market opportunities for specialty-crops, not just as main ingredients but also condiments and cooking-oils.

You will see a lot of attention paid to these matters in our previous work on China -- shifts from rice to wheat based foods, and within wheat from buns-noodles to breads-cakes, to name a few. To give another example, China has given rise to a new pasta-and-pizza market already larger than Italy’s, still growing in double-digits annually. Though we remain a prime-source of durum, we have failed to keep up with latest trends in durum-varieties even in Europe, let alone attend to those emerging in China -- still exporting large volumes to Europe but regrettably none to China.

The relationship between crop-varieties and dietary-habits are further complicated by culinary-traditions. We tend to generalize over Chinese-food, but there are at least eight major cuisines (dozens more local ones), as varied as those across Europe. What we tend to lump into the same category have very different ingredients, but any one of them may cater to tens if not hundreds of millions of people. Search for specialty-crop market opportunities must reach down to this level of detail -- as we have discovered in demand for pulse-varieties in different markets around the world.

In a different vein, vegetarian or vegan diets are driving demand for many types of crops we did not even know or deemed too exotic to pursue. Similarly, organically grown of everything, together with their food-derivatives, have become widely popular, but their processing-and-distribution channels are still limited. As in direct-sales and containerization, we will facilitate the support-services these markets need to flourish. There are many producers engaged in this domain, hoping that the changes we are promoting would unleash a revival in organic agriculture.

Crop-demand driven by food-consumption

Food consumption trends drive demand for specific crops, directly through food and indirectly through feed chains.  We will come to supply-chains next, but here let us first draw attention to the importance of what people eat, how their dietary habits change over time, and in turn how these shifts change demand for crop varieties.

In one of our previous China-studies we looked at how demand for rice-base products shifted to wheat-base, and in turn changed what flour-mills required as wheat-input in the rapidly growing milling industry.  Similarly, increasing affluence and dietary shifts drove growth in the meat-industry, and in turn that industry's demand for animal-feed.

Again, China-centricity of our references reflect the focus of our past work, but we have plans to expand the scope of both studies we cite here to the rest of Southeast Asia.  We look forward to your suggestions for similar studies on consumption-trends.