University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Analysis of UK walnut market import purchase behaviour

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 23:42 authored by McNeil, DL, Felgate, MK

Purpose: This paper aims to use readily available data to validate several predictions on UK walnut import and consumer use behaviours. It then seeks to hypothesise how this information can be used to determine whether and how additional value can be created in the chain.

Design/methodology/approach: The chain used was that from sourcing to retail sale of walnuts in the UK. The data used were: UK import price/quantity/origin and total consumption data, global comparisons for import price/quantity/origin and total consumption data.

Findings: This paper validates predictions for walnut quality, market size and pricing from a simple model for the UK walnut market. The UK walnut market is small (0.26 g/capita/day) but expanding per capita (8 per cent pa). Import prices are low (15-25 per cent below several other major EU importers) but rising in real terms (7 per cent pa). The UK generally sources walnuts opportunistically from low cost low “international standard” quality suppliers. These findings are consistent with model predictions of market behaviour and previous findings on walnut quality.

Practical implications: There may be an opportunity to improve quality specifications for the UK walnut market &/or to expand the UK market into higher quality uses. Both options require educating the UK consumer market in the additional consumer value created.

Originality/value: The study indicates the extent of price seeking purchasing behaviour within global markets for an agricultural product (walnuts). It shows this is not a globally consistent market response and thus offers opportunities for all participants in the UK walnut retail value chain to provide enhanced consumer value.


Publication title

British Food Journal








Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Tree nuts (excl. almonds and macadamias)