Moderate Walnut Price Expands Scope
“Walnuts have not expanded their reach across products. Walnut milk hasn't taken off in a way or, or walnut flour, but they are a traditional crop in bakery products, and that's because their price is more moderate. The growing costs and their price are more moderate. So that gives them more scope,” explained Sumner.
“It's also true, and of course the biggest thing we can say about walnuts is they compete with a broader range of foreign producers. So, we know that China's the largest walnut producer in the world. The quality's poor, the yields are poor. Part of that was misguided Chinese government programs, thinking they were going to reforest parts of Southern China with walnuts up the side of hillsides and things,” noted Sumner.
“Still there, are a lot of Chinese walnuts at the same time is one of these things you sometimes see in agriculture where you see gee, China's the biggest producer, so they can't be an importer. Oh sure. They can. Because the Chinese consumers, when they get a little bit of money, will shift away from domestic walnuts and towards California walnuts at the luxury end of things,” Sumner said.