A publication of AAEA

A publication of AAEA
Functional Foods: Fad or Path to Prosperity?

Functional Foods: Fad or Path to Prosperity?

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Theme Overview: Functional Foods: Fad or Path to Prosperity?

Graciela Andrango and Trent Blare

Consumption of functional foods has grown worldwide, providing small-scale producers in Latin America with access to higher-value domestic and international markets. This theme illustrates efforts to support producers by strengthening the value chains of functional foods to secure their sustainability once the boom ebbs.

Functional Foods: Fad or Path to Prosperity? Data Visualization

Graciela Andrango, Trent Blare, and Guy Hareau

Demand for functional foods (açaí, chia seeds, maca, native blue corn, native cacao, native potatoes, and quinoa) has increased in recent years creating new market opportunities at the domestic and international levels for smallholder farmers in Latin America. This situation has led to an increase in the prices received by farmers, which has enhanced the household income and wellbeing of some families and motivated them to increase production. This visualization illustrates the roles the private and public sectors have played in supporting producers to access these markets, through product research and development and improving access to financial and training services. As these markets mature, there is a growing demand for providing value-added products. The development of these products, however, cannot be left to farmers alone. Research and coordinated action throughout the value chain (intermediaries, processors, retailers, restaurants and end consumers) is necessary to develop products that not only generate profits but also (and more importantly) meet the needs of end consumers. This visualization aims to spark interest among researchers, development practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders in ensuring the sustainability of these markets for functional foods once the current boom ebbs.

Can Niche Markets for Local Cacao Varieties Benefit Smallholders in Peru and Mexico?

Trent Blare, Isabel Corrales, and Luca Zambrino

Growing demand from consumer both within and outside Latin America for high-quality chocolates that meet sustainable and ethical standards is opening new markets for smallholder cacao farmers. Our study examines these trends in both Peru and Mexico and provide insights into how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Native Potatoes: From Forgotten Crop to Culinary Boom and Market Innovation

André Devaux, Guy Hareau, Miguel Ordinola, Jorge Andrade-Piedra, and Graham Thiele

Native potato production is an important livelihood strategy for most rural Andean families. An inclusive value chain development approach triggered innovation processes in Peru’s potato sector, benefiting small-scale producers and value chain actors and improving their livelihoods, although the magnitude of the effects on poverty reduction remains to be determined.

Quinoa Production and Growth Potential in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru

Graciela Andrango, Amy Johnson, and Marc F. Bellemare

This article seeks to identify trade opportunities, growth opportunities and barriers, policies, and strategies implemented at the public and private level by quinoa-producing countries to expand the presence of quinoa on the international market. We discuss factors affecting the demand of quinoa in local, regional, and international markets.

Opportunities in Blue Maize Markets for Smallholder Farmers in Central Mexico

Trent Blare, Mariana García-Medina, Damaris López, and Miriam Pérez

Demand for blue maize in Mexico has expanded beyond local markets to high-end restaurants and large processors with expectations for exports to the United States and Europe. We analyzed the extensiveness of these markets, their potential for future expansion, and provide insight into how smallholders can benefit from them.

Latin America’s Superfood Economy: Producing and Marketing Açaí, Chia Seeds, and Maca Root

Luis Peña-Lévano, Colton Adams, and Shaheer Burney

This study examines the history, nutrition, uses, and perceived health benefits of açaí, chia seeds, and maca root. We investigate drivers of global demand, the role of producer nations, and the dynamics of international markets. These superfoods now have their own market potentials because of increased popularity in developed nations.