Cashew nuts are the seeds of the tropical evergreen tree known as cashew tree. Lately, cashew kernel has become essential for industrial use such as production of cookies, cereal making and also as a topping on ice cream. Whole kernels, lacking defects or blemishes, are often sold as a snack. Cashew kernels rank third in the most internationally traded nuts tree market after almonds and hazelnuts.
The global cashew nuts market was valued at $1.3 billion in 2018, and has been projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% within 2020 and 2025. The biggest players in the cashew industry market are Vietnam (2,663,885 MT), India (785,992 MT), Ivory Coast (688,000 MT), The Philippines (228612 MT) and Benin (215,232 MT). Within the past couple of decades, there has been an increased consumption of cashew kernels across the globe, thanks to the rising health awareness. Cashew nuts production in the world almost reached 790,000 metric tons around 2017/2018, which is a 32% growth since the last decade. On the flip side, India makes the biggest importer of cashew products. India accounted for 22.32% of the world raw cashew consumption, with over 301,719 metric tons of cashew consumed in 2016, a 17.3% increase on the previous year. Other major importers are the United States of America, Brazil and Germany.
Altogether, West Africa produces about 46% of the global imported and exported cashew nuts, with Cote d’Ivoire contributing about 48%, followed by Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria. 24% of the Cashew imported to India in 2016 came from East Africa, and 75% came from West Africa.
Nigeria has a total of 100,000 cashew plantation and an average annual production of 80,000MT, but its production rate is just 5% of the global value. Nigeria is among the top exporters of raw cashew nuts to India. Approximately 18,000 to 23,000MT of raw cashew nuts have been exported yearly, yielding about N23 billion annually. However, the cashew industry in Nigeria has continued to operate 30% below its capacity and potential at just 48,000 tonnes per season.
Notwithstanding, things could get brighter in the sector, with the right investment and attention from the government. It is no doubt a profitable business, as a tonne of cashew is worth about N170,000 to N200,000 and also provides over 200 jobs with each production. One of the many business opportunities waiting to be explored in the cashew production industry is the cashew cake production business. It is a way of meeting the inexhaustible desire for healthy snacks. If you’re looking to start a lucrative snack production business, the cashew cake production business is worth venturing into.
What Is Cashew Kernel Cake?
Cashew kernel cake is a type of cake made from grounded cashew nuts as well as the basic ingredients for baking. The recipe for making the cashew nut cake is mostly like every other cake type, but its major distinctive value is the use of cashew nuts.
What Is Cashew Kernel Cake Production?
Cashew kernel cake production refers to the entire process of cultivating or buying cashew nuts, processing, baking, packaging and selling of cashew kernel cake.
Business Opportunities In Cashew Kernel Cake Production Business In Nigeria And Across The World
1). Edible Cashew Nut Processing:
Raw nuts are in high demand in industrialized countries where they are processed into kernels that constitute a valuable export product for confectionery. They are also processed as an ingredient for making fruit paste, candied fruit, canned fruit, cashew apple, resins, jams and jellies, chutney, fruit juice, alcohol and vinegar. The cashew fruit itself can be eaten as a raw fruit or fermented to produce an alcoholic drink.
2). Cashew Cultivation:
Cashew trees are cultivated in ⅔ of the 36 states in Nigeria, including Ebonyi, Abia, Enugu, Kaduna, etc.) Farmers of cashew all across the world make a living off the business, thanks to the constant demand for cashew and its by-products.
3). Raw Cashew Nuts Trading:
Raw Cashew nuts trading can be done locally or internationally. The trading of cashew nut is not only restricted to the food and confections market, but also extends to the health and chemical industry. It is a highly lucrative sector of the cashew nut industry because it is responsible for the distribution of cashew nuts across the globe.
4). Cashew Kernel Cake Distribution:
The cashew kernel cake business requires the services of distributors to bridge the gap between producers and retailers who sell to end-consumers at hotels, restaurants and other occasions.
Facts And Benefits Of Cashews
- A regular cashew tree can grow up to 46ft while a dwarf tree grows only as high as 20ft.
- The first time cashew was exported was around the 1550s by Portuguese colonists.
- Cashew is high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and proteins.
- Cashew can be processed into cashew butter or cheese, and can be used as a spread on a sandwich.
- The shells of the cashew seeds produce multiple derivatives that can be used in the production of arms, paints, waterproofing, and lubricants.
The pulp from cashew is often processed into a (bitter) fruit drink that can be sweetened or distilled in alcohol.
- Whole-whites are the superior quality of cashew.
- Cashew kernels are used mainly as confectionaries for baking. They can also be consumed as boiled, roasted, or flavoured snacks.
- Cashew can be ground into flour and used to bake or thicken foods.
Types Of Cashew Cake
1). Low-Carb Cashew Vanilla Cake
Low-carb cashew vanilla cake is a healthy dessert lacking in sugar or refined or processed ingredients. It contains only natural sweeteners, and is perfectly safe even for kids, people with diabetes and cake lovers like me who still love cake but hate carbs. To bake this cake, you need cashew flour (you can make this yourself by grinding cashew nuts in a food processor), eggs, sweetener, etc. Note that the sweetener needs to have a bit of crystal structure (just like ground sugar), instead of powder, as it will help the eggs to increase their volume when beaten. Other ingredients include plain yoghurt, coconut flour, vanilla extract, flaxseed meal, coconut oil and baking powder.
2). Cashew Almond Cake:
The cashew almond cake is another popular type of cashew kernel cake. It involves the all-purpose flour, cashew flour (ground raw cashew nuts), almond powder, sugar, milk, baking soda, baking powder, and dry grated coconut. You can also add cardamom powder and saffron for extra taste.
How To Start A Cashew Kernel Cake Production: A Step-By-Step Guide
1). Procuring The Necessary Ingredients And Equipment:
The cashew kernel cake is a typical cake made with the usual cake ingredients and a bit of cashew flour that gives it an exceptional taste. Ingredients needed for the making cashew kernel cake include:
- All-purpose flour
- Cashew flour or meal (cashew powder)
- Home-made curd
- Granulated sugar
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Olive oil
- Vanilla extract
- Blanched and roasted almonds, etc.
Equipment include spatula, wooden spoons, pastry brush, wooden spoons, measuring spoons, baking pans, rolling pin, hand mixers, etc.
2). Employ Staff:
This depends largely on the scale of business. It helps to hire the services of one or two assistants if you are starting small. On the other hand, a large-scale cashew nut cake production business will require the services of expert bakers as well as distributors.
- Preheat oven to 200c.
- Grease a 6 inch round pan.
- Sift flour 2-3 times.
- After toasting almonds in the oven, gently split them into two or use whole almond.
- Mix the sugar and yoghurt in a large for 5 minutes on high speed.
- Add baking powder and baking soda and leave for 3 minutes.
- Add oil and vanilla extract to the curd mixture.
- Slowly add the flour in 2 lots, blending in well after each addition.
- Fold in cashew meal now gently.
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
- Top with toasted almond slices.
- Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes, and decrease the oven temperature to 170 – 180°C
- Bake for extra 25-30 minutes or till you can insert a toothpick into the cake and it comes out easy and smooth.
- Bring out the cake and cool for 30 minutes and then overturn onto a plate.
You can decorate the cake with any design of your choice, or you can sell it directly. Package it in a customized airtight box, or cake wrapper, and it is ready to hit the market.
Challenges Of Starting A Cashew Kernel Cake Business
- High cost of startup
- High market competition
- The domestic market price of Cashew is high
- Cashew processing in Nigeria is costly
- Unavailability of raw materials for production
- Low shelf life
- Difficulty in getting quality cashew kernels.
- Poor distribution channels
To Sum It Up
Cashew nut is an essential ingredient in bakery and other food items such as cookies, candies, and chocolates. However, in Nigeria, this gold mine is yet to be fully tapped. Starting a cashew kernel cake production business is a promising way to step into the confectionery industry and succeed in it. The cashew kernel cake production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide network. If you’re looking for a lucrative business to venture into, the cashew kernel cake production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.
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