The Quinoa Quest – a look into current and future markets

Compared to the world trade volume of rice (more than 40 million tonnes in 2015), and compared to the local consumption in the world’s largest producing countries (55 thousand tons in both Bolivia and Peru), trade volumes for quinoa are still relatively small (84.4 thousand tons in 2015). In the next decade, this trade volume will go up tremendously and quinoa will become available to consumers in many more countries and markets. This is just one of the insights that resulted from the Global Quinoa Quest market research tour by Globally Cool during 2015-2016.

The key question during the project was: how will the market for quinoa develop in the next decade? And which strategy should Peruvian exporters set for? Will organic become an important market driver? And what about dual certification? Many questions got an answer during our quest from August 2015 - June 2016.

In the end, Globally Cool also worked with a few Peruvian farmer's cooperations to establish their strategy for the next years. Which markets to focus on, export or keep it local? Organic or mainstream? Grain only or also added value? All these questions got an answer during a workshop in February 2017 in Lima, Peru.

Want a visual summary? Watch the short presentation here.


quinoa, grain, gluten-free products


2015 – 2017


Australia, Canada, EU (general), France, Germany, Italy, Peru, USA, United Kingdom

Type of activity

  • Consulting
  • Market Intelligence


Activities were the following:

  • Trade fair visits to Biofach East in Baltimore, USA, September 2015, Food Ingredients Europe in Paris 2015, and Biofach Europe 2016 in Germany.
  • Desk research and more than 75 interviews with peers from 8 countries worldwide.
  • Export strategy formulation for Peruvian small-holder cooperative and presentation of insights and strategy during a workshop in Lima.


Report of 60 pages based on:

  • quantitative 360 degrees analysis of global trade and markets.
  • qualitative analysis also based on input from 75 interviews with peers from USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Canada and Australia.

The report included the following:

  • scan of local (Peruvian) market for quinoa.
  • scan of certified produce markets (organic/fairtrade and dual).
  • value chain analysis.

Additionally, other outputs were 3 videos; 1 trade fair trend report, 1 trade fair opportunity report, and a packaging innovation report.