Quinoa seeds are emerging as the ultimate source of protein for vegans due to their better digestibility vis-à-vis other seeds. Protein content in quinoa stands at around 14% to 18%, which is higher than that of rice, maize, wheat, and oats. Therefore, quinoa seeds have emerged as effective alternative to rice for vegetarians. Rise in demand for alternative sources of protein is expected to drive the demand for quinoa seeds during the forecast period. Additionally, quinoa seeds can be a good substitutes for animal based protein. They are also considered high calorie food. Calorific value of quinoa is more than that of milk and eggs. It is equally comparable to meat in terms of calorific value. According to a research study conducted by University of Chile in 2009, protein content in quinoa is around 15%, which is approximately double that of most standard grains available in the market. Quinoa seeds are also a good source of amino acids, which is essential for the development and growth of tissues. Furthermore, quinoa seeds contain higher amount of isoleucine and lysine than any other grain.
Currently, quinoa seeds are considered superfood. Quinoa can be added as an ingredient in rice dishes such as pilaf. They can also be used rice substitute. Quinoa seeds are also added to hot breakfast cereals, soups, and salads. Furthermore, these can be used to prepare coffee, fritters, and muffins. The potential of quinoa based food products as superfoods is based on its blending capacity in terms of functionality with other foods. Increase in demand for nutritious and naturally healthy food ingredients and rising awareness about gluten free diet among consumers are estimated to drive the quinoa seeds market during the forecast period. However, fluctuation in prices of quinoa seeds is projected to hamper growth during the forecast period. The global quinoa seeds market is segmented by seed type and geography. Based on seed type, the market has been divided into organic quinoa seeds and inorganic quinoa seeds. Currently, inorganic quinoa seeds dominate the global quinoa seeds market; however, demand for organic quinoa seeds is expected to increase globally in the next few years. The quinoa seeds market is geographically segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East &Africa (MEA), and Latin America. North America accounted for the major share of the global quinoa seeds market in 2015, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific.
The global quinoa seeds market is highly competitive with the presence of various large scale and small scale vendors. These vendors compete with each other in terms of product differentiation, product quality, price, product innovation, product distribution, and brand promotion. Key players operating in the quinoa seeds market include Alter Eco, COMRURAL XXI, Irupana Andean Organic Food, The British Quinoa Company, Northern Quinoa, Ancient Harvest, Highland Farm Foods, Andean Valley, Andean Naturals, Quinoa Foods Company, Industrial and Technological Complex Yanapasiñani SRL (CITY SRL), Big Oz, Arrowhead Mills, and Quinoabol. Global players dominate the quinoa seeds market, led by their vast geographic presence and large production facilities across different countries. These players have been investing substantial capital in research and development and innovation centers in order to expand production capabilities and meet the rise in demand for quinoa seeds. Major market players are also expanding their market share through new product development, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and expansion. Besides this, manufacturers are focusing on plans to open new retail outlets to strengthen distribution channels. Various leading and emerging manufacturers are launching different products to meet the increase in demand for quinoa seeds.