Spices mean passion. It is rather not like selling canned vegetables or tomato ketchup which are pasteurized and sterile. Herbs and spices are still natural products when consumers buy them, regardless if whole, rubbed or ground. Most items are not or little processed, but embody a lot of manual labor and gentle treatment from the fields at their origins to the shelf of a supermarket. Spices need people who care.
The herbs and spices trade category is different from market to market in various aspects: diversity, packaging, price position. Also, consumer preferences for certain spice products can be distinct: While Croats and Hungarians have a clear tendency to high-quality paprika powder, Czechs and Poles favor spice mixes and seasonings. Our researches also show significant differences in terms of consumers' spice affinity (per capita spending and consumption) even between neighbored countries. But everywhere you will find herbs and spices being a comparatively complex category. So spice retailing needs proper system and structure.
Periodics® Interactive Table of Herbs and Spices. 99 herbs and spices, their specifics, harmonies and cross-references.
Spice business is subject to global trends like climate change, population growth, regional conflicts or investors' behavior. Global spice supply is volatile and likely to be dropping the longer term, in best case stable, which contrasts with overall growing demand. A successful spice business is basically supply chain-driven.
Also, improving social and living standards at origins like China, India, Indonesia or Brazil driven by employment moving from rural areas to industrial centers make labor in spice agriculture expensive, increase local demand and limit volumes available for export. Higher purchasing prices require smarter spice marketing and value-added concepts.
We predict that resourceful spice marketing professionals will be sought-after partners for both modern and traditional retail trade in the future when low-price will compete against availability and volume approach against quality proposition. -Uwe-Jens Karl