Dry fruits Industries
Nut and dried fruit industry in India is currently pegged at INR 15,000 crores (~ USD 2 billion) and is estimated to grow to INR 30,000 crores (~ USD 4 billion) by 2020, according to the Chairman of Royal Dried Fruits Range, a city-based dried fruits retailer. (Source: Business Standard, October 2016). While the consumption of nuts and dried fruits may be much more widespread today, the medieval values of heritage and exclusivity continue to rest with this premium category. Other than spices, they are the only other category that reflects the quintessential exoticism of ancient India. Even until a few decades ago, the use of nuts and dried fruits was restricted to special occasions, where their primary use would be as a food “enricher” – adding richness to the taste as well as nutritional value. Dried fruits and nuts have been a part of celebratory food items such as spicy Indian gravies “enriched” with cashew paste or pulav (Indian rice) containing roasted almonds, cashews and raisins or kheer, and payasam (different kinds of Indian dessert) garnished with various dried fruits and nuts.
While the custom of using dried fruits and nuts as a “food enricher” continues, the same category has also made inroads into other meal occasions, as a natural consequence to some of the larger movements taking place in the country.
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