Are you looking to venture into the food processing industry? Consider the promising world of fox nuts, also known as "makhana" or "lotus seeds." Fox nuts are gaining popularity globally due to their nutritional value and versatile applications in various cuisines.

Makhana, the Fox Nut drives the market through its health benefits. There are many untapped markets, and the fox nuts demand shows to boost the fox nuts market growth. Fox nuts are rich in protein, fiber, and essential minerals, making them a healthy snack option. Their crunchy texture and mild flavor make them ideal for both savory and sweet dishes, offering endless possibilities for innovative food products.

The fox nuts demand is rising, with consumers choosing it as a natural and healthy food product. These nuts are rich in calcium, gluten-free, and opulent in protein and carbohydrates which is highly beneficial for people with diabetes and blood pressure.

Makhana, the Fox Nut business ideas growth

Fox nuts fight aging, chronic inflammation, and body stress, and they are now driving market growth. The fox nuts exports in India grew annually from 2013 to 2017 at 11.2%. India exported in FY 2017-18 fox nuts worth US $ 21.2 million. 

The beauty of the fox nuts is that it is easy to package them into accessible and trendier avatars such as kheer, panjiri, soup, and shakes. Makhana belongs to the fasting menu and is known as lotus seeds. These were eaten during fasting as 100 gms is enough for an entire day to keep hunger away, offering the benefit of low calories.

A few details on fox nut

  • The market of makhana is unique and new. Even with a sudden investment by many in this segment as big players, only a few survived.
  • Makahana harvesting is laborious as these plants feature spiky thorns. The harvesting starts with the flower blooming and the seeds dropping down. Using a bamboo apparatus, workers plod the slush and drain the slush out.
  • Aquatic weed management is the biggest hurdle in fox nut cultivation and requires manual elimination.
  • Makaha in powder form may be a good option, but it is gluten-free and cannot become flour. Using it by adding to vegetables, raitas, making cupcakes or kheer is the benefit. It is fibrous, with low GI, rich in antioxidants and micro-nutrients, and is exceptionally good for bone and heart health. 
  • As travel trials and pack, a makhana meal is perfect as 35 grams. It is a cup full, providing four grams of protein and 100 kcals. Makhana is the go-to trending snack now for health enthusiasts.

Popping and roasting of Makhana is a skill, and only a few families from the fishermen community from Darbhanga and Mithila are experts. Eating fox nuts by roasting and adding salt is the simplest.

Fox Nut Based Products Business Opportunities

  1. Snack Manufacturing: Start a fox nut snack manufacturing business, producing flavored and seasoned fox nut snacks to cater to health-conscious consumers looking for nutritious, on-the-go options.

  2. Bakery and Confectionery: Incorporate fox nuts into bakery and confectionery products like cookies, cakes, and energy bars to enhance their nutritional profile and appeal to health-conscious consumers.

  3. Nutritional Supplements: Utilize fox nuts to create protein powders, energy drinks, and nutritional supplements targeting fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals seeking convenient sources of plant-based protein.

  4. Ready-to-Eat Meals: Develop ready-to-eat meal options like fox nut-based breakfast cereals, trail mixes, and meal replacement bars, catering to busy consumers seeking nutritious and convenient meal solutions.

Fox nut popularity in other countries

Fox nuts are popular in India, Thailand, Japan, and China. It costs a kilogram around Rs. 500 and Rs. 1500. Yet, its potential market in the US and the UK, the Western countries remain untapped. With consumer awareness growing and its abundance of health benefits, the demand will rise rapidly. 

Many start-ups are offering fox nut products, and soon the untapped markets will enter the market to encourage new players. It will drive the market growth at 7% CAGR during the 2019-2023 forecast periods. The market size of the global fox nuts during 2019-2023 is expected as USD 72.5 million.

Export Promotion Strategy

The Makhana-producing State Governments will be interacting with APEDA and ICAR institutions will identify specific regions or areas to induce the programs of development of fox nuts for export growth. There will be Makhana export awareness programs, and APEDA will assist the states producing Makhana to extend potential units towards export. It proposes geo-mapping, considers the number of ponds, considers production district-wise, and takes productivity into the calculation.

 An interesting part is Makhana, the fox nut, is a dry fruit that was not popular. But there is a high demand suddenly, and it is now a superfood growing in popularity. The makhana global market is estimated 2020 at USD 40 million, and it was a huge pie, showing it is a crucial player with 85.2% growth from 2019. It is good for the gut, bone health, hair, skin, heart, and many more, stirring the demand.

What is so challenging about fox nuts?

Fox nuts are a challenging commodity as they are light and volumetric. Better is the makhanas quality, it is fluffier and occupies more space. Thus, the fox nuts transportation becomes challenging. 

The makhanas need to be stored safely and must not get wet. Hence are stored in special bags to avoid getting wet, resulting in spoilage. They pose small problems, but storing and transporting process of fox nuts is complicated and tricky. It is a must to bear in mind the crucial nuances, and to have it packed in special bags with utmost safety and care. The fox nuts are white round nuts that break easily. Therefore, transportation care is a must, to ensure there is no extra pressure.  

Information is that new technology is developed to cultivate fox nuts as an integrated farming system and in cropping system mode.

Embracing fox nuts as a key ingredient in your food processing business can lead to a successful venture in the thriving health food industry. By offering innovative and nutritious fox nut-based products, you can meet the evolving needs of health-conscious consumers while capitalizing on the growing market demand for healthy snack alternatives.