Market Update on Lentils

Lentils are legumes under the families of beans, peanuts, chickpeas, and soybeans. It has been used for years in cooking throughout Asia, Europe, and North Africa like bakery, breading, snacks, beverages, and meat. Lentils are categorized into green, yellow, red, brown, and black. Lentils are high in fiber and protein, which are a great source of potassium, vitamins A & B, minerals, fibers, iron, nutrients, and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are being known globally due to their health benefits, like improving digestion, boosting metabolism, regulating diabetes, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and preventing cancer.

In 2019, the lentil global market reached a volume of 6.6 million tons and a market size value of USD 13.709M. Due to its health benefits and demands in the food industry, the lentils market is expected to rise in volume at 8.4M tons in the next five or seven years. Canada tops the largest market as a producer and exporter, and is the highest sharer in the global lentil market, with an export value of USD 904.64M and 54.1% respectively. Australia follows with a USD 204.40M and 12.2% market share. Then emerge Turkey, United States, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Belgium, France, Egypt, Germany, Syria, Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, Nepal, Ethiopia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Canada estimates an increase of 29% of production yield until next year, with a higher production of green and red lentils. Turkey, on the other hand, already exported 316,740 tons of lentils from January to September of this year doubling the average produce last year. Turkey estimates an increase of 350,000 – 375,000 tons of product by the end of 2021. On the Contrary, India estimates a 28% increase in lentil production rounding off to 1.6M tons by the end of 2021.

Factors on Lentil Market Rise

  1. During the pandemic brought by this year, more households and businesses switch to a healthy lifestyle. More consumers are now educated and aware of the convenience and accessibility of organically produced lentils. For these reasons, the food industry is exporting and importing lentils across the globe to cater to the needs of the consumers, which will result in the growth of the lentil market.
  2. Lentil products establish a longer shelf life, which is favorable to both retailers and consumers. In recent months, the food industry adapts to healthier menus and mix flour and portions of split lentils to batters, snack foods, and bakery products.
  3. Lentils are now widely used as an aroma and taste enhancers to sauces, soups, spreads, dips, and more. While these products are present in everyday use, it gradually contributes to the growth of lentil market.
  4. Population growth, varying dietary schemes, and population growth are a few of the factors that drive the global lentil market. Countries like Turkey, Sri Lanka, and India are now progressively hitting demands on lentils.
  5. Consumers have a growing concern on animal welfare over the years; hence, to help combat the issue, plant-based alternative protein options were introduced. It further facilitates the prevention of carcinogens and high levels of pollutants from the chemicals used in animal feeds.

Types of Lentils

  1. Brown Lentils – these are the most common lentils and are best used in stews as they have an earthy, mild flavor.
  2. Green Lentils – these lentils can reach 45 minutes or more to cook. These are ideal for salads and side dishes due to their peppery taste.
  3. Yellow and Red Lentils – these are mild and sweet, and are mostly be found in Indian or Middle Eastern cuisines. These are ideal for soups, stews, and purees.
  4. Puy Lentils – these lentils are the original green lentils from Le Puy, France. It has the best texture and flavor from all the lentil varieties.
  5. Beluga / Black Lentils – these lentils are the most widely consumed and mostly paired with meat or other proteins. But they are also often used in salads and tacos.

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