KernAktuell January 2020, News

The pumpkin seed market from the customer’s point of view

Pumpkin seed products will continue to be a reliable revenue generator

Stable quantity growth of more than 5% p.a. since 2000 means that pumpkin seed products are a winner! There are many reasons why this will remain the case.



Regionality and origin

Pumpkin seed oil is a food that evokes strong emotions and one that is classed as a regional speciality. By far the most important criterion in the purchasing decision is the oil’s origin. This is reflected in what customers put in their shopping baskets. Trade scanning data shows clearly that Styrian pumpkin seed oil PGI is constantly growing in popularity – in retail, wholesale and catering. Increasing environmental awareness and high food standards within the EU are further reasons to source foods from Europe. In this context it is important for marketing chains to enable fair competition and, for example, to extend the call for a ban on glyphosate to international corporate brands.


Food is our medicine

We are all getting older and this is boosting interest in healthy eating. More than 1% of people in Austria, Germany and Switzerland are already following a vegan diet, another 13% are vegetarian and one-third of the population class themselves as flexitarians (eating no meat at least one day a week or numerous days). Pumpkin seed products are sought-after for the many healthy nutrients they contain. They are also a perfect culinary alternative for people who are allergic to nuts. The results of spermidine tests will give sales of Steirerkraft pumpkin seeds a further strong impetus.


Prices stable at a higher level

The Europe-wide record harvest of 2016, which involved contract-free surpluses, the emergence of speculators and the activities of a Canadian billionaire, resulted in prices in Germany – the most important export market – falling by more than 20%. This meant that commodity prices in Austria and Europe dropped to the point where farmers were no longer covering their costs and led to a huge decline (minus 45%) in land area. Alternatives such as soya were far more attractive. This is changing in 2020. This year it will be difficult to obtain sufficient supplies of Styrian PGI pumpkin seeds. All food producers are trying to secure sufficient land for the growing year and replenish their reserve stocks. This will only be achieved with prices that cover costs – including the costs of working time, investment costs, social insurance and rent payments. The good news is that pumpkin seed products are one of the least price-sensitive items in the food sector.


KernAktuell edition January 2020 >>


Immer auf dem neuesten Stand


Traditional Styrian
stamp press process

While modernity has brought progress in many areas, the traditional Styrian stamp press process is still the best way of making pumpkin seed oil. The main difference between this and other pressing methods is that we work with open roasting pans. At our plant, people check when the pumpkin seeds are perfectly roasted and so will yield the very best oil. This enables our experienced oil millers to produce the pumpkin seed oil that has won more prizes than any other – and which as a result of this type of pressing retains all the natural constituents. The untreated oil is not filtered; the particles that make it cloudy settle naturally when the oil is left to rest.

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