Nielsen-Massey Sees More Stable Future For Vanilla Market

Glamour shot of unwrapped sanded jellies.

Waukengan, IL — While the vanilla market was challenged in 2016 by falling crop quality and rising prices, supplier Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Inc. is optimistic about the ingredient’s future heading into the new year.

Consumers’ growing interest in all-natural foods has resulted in global manufacturers using more pure vanilla, in turn, driving up demand and leading to price spikes, according to Craig Nielsen, vice-president of sustainability.

“Because it takes several years for vanilla growers to bring on incremental capacity, this pricing volatility has attracted market speculators and created many dynamics that have hurt farmers and negatively affected product quality,” Nielsen explains.

However, the flavor house has a positive outlook as farmers in Madagascar — where 75 to 80 percent of the world’s vanilla supply originates — have increased vanilla vine renewable rates from 10 to 15 percent annually to 25 to 30 percent, Nielsen-Massey reports. Further, other regions such as Mexico, India and Papua New Guinea are looking to increase capacity, which should results in a closer balance for supply and demand.

“Even despite the recent vanilla market disruptions, it’s important to reiterate that we have adequate suppliers to meet the needs of our customers,” Nielsen adds.