We have a great discussion for you featuring Jeff Rumney, Vice President of Marketing at the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Johanna Stobbs, who works to promote U.S. pulses in the European market, and Raul Caballero who represents U.S. pulses in Mexico and throughout Latin America. US Pulses are widely recognized and preferred in the global marketplace with lots of opportunity for growth going forward. In this episode we discuss what has driven demand for pulses traditionally in these areas, as well as the innovation that will help drive demand even further in the future.
“(Europe) is a demanding market and the trends are all towards pulse eating. The overwriting demand is for quality. And the great thing about US peas, lentils and chickpeas is that we deliver quality consistently year after year. And that's what makes the European market so dynamic for us.” - Johanna Stobbs
Johanna has seen an increase in pulse crop consumption due to the health benefits and more at home cooking with the global pandemic. Johanna also comments that there has been a lot of innovation in regards to using these products in different processed foods and the consumers are enjoying that as well. Raul goes on to explain the many benefits promoted in latin america where basic nutritional needs especially regarding protein can be cost prohibitive and represent a real concern for the general population.
“So nowadays you see all of these governments within the (latin american) region doing a lot of efforts to promote pulses. And also the population is looking at those new opportunities. And I think the most exciting part of it is that because of all this trend we're looking at new ways of preparing things.” -Raul Caballero
One of the pulse crops that has found more recent success in latin america are lentils. Varieties and quality from the US have become more popular and much more competitive globally. Johanna mentioned that Scandinavian countries, especially in regards to organically raised products, have seen an increase in pulse crop consumption.
“A lot of times (consumers) don't really understand or are worried about the underlying technology when they go to the market and buy products. They're first looking for taste, they're looking for convenience, and then they're looking for health. Will their family eat it? Is their family going to be healthy? Pulses and pulse ingredients really fit into that consumer mindset of what's going to make my family happy.” - Jeff Rumney