Makhana Global Usage
Traditionally, cultivated in the hinterland of India, Makhana has gained huge popularity across the globe due to its diverse health benefits. Grown in Tropical regions, Makhana is packed with the goodness of minerals and nutrients like Calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium. There has been a paradigm shift in the demand of Makhana or Fox nuts in China, Korea, Thailand, Europe and U.S.
Due to urbanisation in developing countries like India, people are more health conscious and have more disposable income. This has increase in usage of Makhana seeds and Makhana in the daily diets of consumers. Across the world, Makhana seeds and Makhana are replacing high calories, sugary, fried snacks. In fact, Fox nuts are becoming the preferred choice of consumers as compared to expensive nuts like almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, dried berries etc.
Global Usage of Makhana:
Makhana seeds and Makhana are used by different countries in different ways. Some prefer Makhana seeds, some prefer uncooked Makhana pops and some prefer cooking Makhana as main course, desserts etc. The usage pattern is very different in Asia as opposed to Europe and U.S.
The global market of Makhana seeds and Makhana pops is estimated at USD 35 million approximately. Asia Pacific accounts for 85 % of the global market of Makhana and Makhana seeds and is USD 30 million Industry.
India: Mostly cultivated in Bihar, Makhana is extremely popular in India. Hundreds of years ago, Makhana was cultivated in Madhubani region of Bihar. Bihar accounts for 90% of the global production of Makhana. Madhubani has been awarded the prestigious GI Tag which has given it a free hand to export Makhana seeds and Makhana flakes to the rest of the world. Traditionally, Makhana is used for religious purposes in India. Makhana is offered to deities and are also used to make garlands for Gods and Goddesses. In urban India, Makhana is used as a healthy snack. Also, used in making curries, Makhana parathas, Makhana kheer, consumers are experimenting with new recipes. In North Eastern State of Manipur, it is known as thamchet and lotus seeds are eaten raw.
Ayurvedic medicines in India use Makhana seeds and Makhana flakes. Low in sodium, sugar, Makhana usage in Ayurvedic medicines helps in fighting many diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension and removing toxins. It helps in balancing ‘Vatta’ and ‘Pitta’ in the body. Makhana Seeds powder is generally taken with Ashwagandha powder, Yashtimadhu, Vidarikand for better effects. In Ayurveda, Makhana helps in increasing and improving sperm counts and helps in male fertility.
China and Japan: The consumption usage and pattern of Makhana seeds and Makhana flakes are very similar in China and Japan. Both the countries call Makhana as a vegetable and regularly eat roots called as Rhizomes. They also eat the stem and the leaves of the plant. Leaves of Makhana plant are used to make spicy dishes and also tea.
Chinese Medicines highly use Lotus seeds as an ingredient. Largely cultivated in the islands of Hainan and Taiwan, Makhana are essentials for Chinese medicines due to its innumerable health benefits. It is believed in Chinese medicines, Makhana seeds help in respiratory diseases, indigestion, strokes, erectile dysfunction, arthritis etc. Makhana seed powder is also used in production of Baby food in China. In Japan and China, the paste of Makhana seeds are used in Making delicious Pastries and cakes.
Overnight soaked dried Makhana seeds are used for cooking nutritious soups and congee. They are used in making many other dishes as well. One of the most famous snacks in China is the crystallised lotus seeds that are cooked in syrup and are specially cooked during the Chinese New Year.
Thailand: Like China and Japan, dried Lotus seeds are very famous snacks in Thailand. In Thailand it is called Med-bua-op.
United Kingdom: A few Manufacturers have started distributing Makhana flakes and seeds as snacks across the United Kingdom. Consumers are satisfied with the numerous health benefits of this wonder nut. There has been a high demand of Makhana in U.K. over the years.
Europe & The U.S.A.: A few decades ago, people in Europe and America were not aware of Makhana seeds and Makhana flakes. It is in the recent past, that people have realised the benefits of Makhana. This has led to a steep increase in the demand of Makhana seeds and Flakes. With growing market demand in countries like Germany, Italy and France, many exporters have found export opportunities in these regions. However, there is still a huge untapped markets in U.S. and many countries of Europe. Belgium has shown interest in Makhana by interacting with the Bihar Government and exploring the opportunities for export in their city.
Colombia: Colombia is also a big market for dried lotus seeds that are directly consumed from the local markets and are eaten raw. They are mostly available in Barranquilla and Cartagena. In colombia they are called ‘Martello’.
Global Distribution of Makhana
To meet the exponential increase in demand of Fox nuts or Makhana across the globe, Manufacturers and retailers are using multiple platforms to reach out to their prospective consumers. With urbanisation, consumers’ buying patterns have also changed over the years. Many prefer online sites within the comforts of their homes to buy Makhana. Retailers are keeping up with the changing demands of consumers. Each country has a preferred platform for buying Makhana. It is important to understand different market needs and offer the produce as per the consumers in that country.
With E-commerce and online sales, World has become a global village. Manufacturers in developing countries like India are getting orders from other end of the world with a click of a button. E-commerce has given a big boost to the exports of Makhana. Retailers are making Makhana available to the consumers across the globe in all formats like big super markets, hypermarkets, grocery stores, nutritional food outlets per other retail formats. Though E-commerce has gained a lot of popularity but consumers still prefer the brick and mortar formats for buying Makhana seeds and Makhana Flakes.