A new comprehensive global report on the spices and seasonings market by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. has stated that the market is expected to reach 5.3 billion pounds by 2017.
According to the report, Asia-Pacific driven by vibrant spice markets of India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and others is poised to take the growth forward, expanding at the strongest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 5.6% through 2017.
The world market is expected to be driven by surging demand for convenience foods, introduction of new spices and flavours, growing fascination for ethnic cuisine and growing awareness about health benefits. Further, rising consumption of natural spices or herbs, extensive use of spice-derived products and increasing popularity of organic spices are also fostering demand, according to the report.
Approximately 85% of the world trade on spices and herbs is conducted in crude and dried form. Demand for spices and herbs, continues to grow due to increased consumer consumption, usage in the manufacture of various flavours and flavour ingredients, as well as increase in preference for ethnic foods.
The report adds that to a large extent, the spices and seasonings market worldwide continues to remain independent of the vagaries of the economy, and is not severely affected by ups and lows in the market. In fact, many categories of spices are considered recession-proof or counter-cyclical as sales tend to rise in a sluggish economy. In a slow moving economy, at-home consumption of food generally rises, with people trying to save money by avoiding costlier trips to restaurants, and intake of ready meals.
Europe and several Asian countries continue to be the global centres for the production and processing of spices and culinary herbs. Some countries lead in the production of specific spices, such as India for cloves, China for ginger, Vietnam for pepper, and Indonesia for nutmeg and cinnamon. In the culinary herbs market, India is among the leading producers and exporters of raw herbs to the US, and European Union.
Further, growing demand for convenience foods and fascination for ethnic cuisine has fuelled sales of food accompaniments, including spices and seasonings. Influx of immigrants is changing the structure of most countries. For instance, about one out of four Americans had African, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American ancestry. The marketplace is being reshaped by this new ethnic diversity. Ethnic food stores are set up around the country to serve communities of immigrants, and many newcomers enter the food business themselves bringing with them previously unknown ingredients and exotic flavours. Moreover, with foreign ingredients and flavours becoming more mundane, domestic marketers join in with ethnic products redesigned to suit domestic palates and lifestyles.
Signature mustards are increasingly finding use in various food products, such as appetiser dips, salad vinaigrettes, entree sauces, soups, meat and fish glazes as well as in breading bases for fried seafood. On par with the trend, various restaurants and food outlets started to use mustard in various food preparations. Spice manufacturers are trying out the use of spices, herbs, and extracts in different combinations so as to get bigger and bolder flavours. Spices such as vanilla, allspice, nutmeg, rosemary, basil, and cinnamon are extensively used in main dishes. The growing interest towards the use of organic food and beverages is also catching up with organic spices, herbs, and oil crops. Varieties of certified organic spices have already made inroads into retail outlets worldwide.
However, the mainstream retail market for organic herbs and spices is still considered to be in a nascent stage of growth. Reduced prices and increased supply could offer significant growth prospects for organic spices, which are expected to build up market share comparable to other organic food products.
The United States is currently the largest importer and consumer of spices and seasonings worldwide, capturing a significant chunk of the global market. Spice consumption is witnessing an increase in the US due to factors such as increasing population, growing demand for convenience food items, and changing consumer tastes. Growing popularity of Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Korean cuisine among consumers is also propelling demand for spices in the region.
Meanwhile, India is the world’s largest producer and exporter of spices. With plantations spreading over several million hectares across the length and breadth of the country, India exports around 180 kinds of spices to nearly 150 countries worldwide. Though, China is emerging as a major competitor to India in the international market, and is one of largest producers of red peppers, dehydrated onion and garlic, cinnamon, and ginger.
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