The global demand for almonds has increased steadily, driven by the interaction of various macro and micro economic factors. Macro economic factors include a population’s wealth, age and geographical location, especially the extent of urbanisation. Micro economic factors are influenced by a consumer’s perceptions and preferences, which are shaped by cultural norms, the relative price of competing goods and product availability. If the macro and micro economic factors are integrated, the following stylised facts emerge:
First, a positive correlation exists between a population’s growth in disposable income and the quantity of fruit and vegetables it consumes.
Second, “as incomes rise, consumers increasingly substitute products embodying higher levels of value-added service into their diet” (Gehlar & Regmi; 2005: 13). This creates a boom for higher value, processed products. Based on stylised facts a population’s consumption of almonds increases as per capita income rises because affluent societies tend to consume more fruit and vegetables, confectionery, snacks and processed foods. The target market for almonds is the middle-class of middle-income and higher-income countries.