The American pecan industry is seeking to make pecans the number one nut on the planet in terms of both health for humans as well as consumption quantity. The pecan industry has been an established industry for over a century across the southern US, but it has done little to move outside of its southern home for most of that time.
Over the past 2 decades pecan growers across the US have been meeting and working together to move the industry outside of the confines of the south and into other parts of the world.
Since the early 2000’s pecan growers have been working to promote pecans in new markets and show health conscious consumers the versatility of the pecan nut as well as the various health benefits to humans when consumed on a regular basis.
Over the years growers have managed to increase demand for pecans, so much so that pecan prices had risen to unsustainable levels. While the recent trade war did slow trade of US pecans with a large customer, it has done nothing to slow growth in the domestic market and other markets abroad. In fact the domestic market is growing faster than any of the foreign markets currently and work in foreign markets is accelerating.
With the new found growth comes again the issue of supply. Several years ago pecan prices soared as buyers scrambled to lock down any pecans they could find as supplies continued to dwindle each year leaving some buyers waiting for the next harvest. While that is not the case today, it could again be the near future.
While growers were out marketing pecans, they were not growing the supply nearly as fast. Pecans are a long term investment crop and bringing new orchards into production takes several years. To bring an orchard into full production can take up to 10 years. The nature of the long term investment of a pecan orchard has created a lag in the availability in the supply chain. While supplies have caught up with todays market, China has been slowly reentering the picture and with the minimal supply capacity of the pecan industry, if the trade landscape changes between China and the US, pecan supplies will again force buyers to compete for the limited supply.
The industry hopes to change that this time around. The pecan industry has made itself much more attractive to outside investment over the past few years in hopes of attracting new investors and new growers to help keep supplies growing alongside demand.
The pecan industry has made great strides in educating potential grower / investors about the journey into pecans and the industry. With educational seminars across the US and grower organizations in nearly 20 states now the industry is getting the word out that they are open for business and the market is hungry for new entrants.
Service companies have formed to help onboard new entrants with everything from financial planning, to orchard installation, to custom scouting, harvesting and selling. Growers across the industry have made great strides to attract new investors in hopes of keeping both supply and demand growing together.