Summary of our market study

The global spice market has experienced dynamic growth, driven by a compound annual growth rate of over 4% since 2020. India remains at the forefront as the largest producer, with a notable 60% share of global production, and as the main consumer. Despite a decline in the value of the French market in 2022 to 109.4 million euros, overall trends point to positive growth, underpinned by growing demand for world cuisines.

The market landscape is influenced by consumer preference for organic and fair-trade products, with brands such as Ducros expanding their organic offering. Price volatility is evident, particularly for high value-added spices such as vanilla, which has seen prices soar significantly to around 250 euros/kg due to Madagascar's predominance in production.

France, while a major importer with a spice trade deficit exceeding $110 million in 2021, reflects a demand for better quality spices and a move towards premiumization of supply on the market. The market must also cope with the regulatory frameworks established by the European Union to guarantee quality and transparency.

Changing tastes and expansion of the French spice market

The French spice market has enjoyed sustained growth, reflecting an interest in world cuisines that has had a significant impact on consumer demand. The growing interest in Asian and Tex-Mex dishes, identified as a notable trend, underlines a shift in culinary preferences. Offerings reminiscent of Korean, Lebanese and Cajun flavors have particularly resonated with French palates. The magnetism of exotic cuisines has not only altered taste preferences, it has also had an economic impact, as the market for market, including the Asian and Tex-Mex segments, saw its sales climb to between 600 and 650 million euros, an increase of around 5% on the previous year. This dynamism reflects both the diversification of consumer tastes and the opportunities for market players to innovate and respond to new desires.

An interesting aspect of this progressive market is the attention paid to the composition and origin of spice products. A growing segment of consumers, estimated at around 80%, is actively seeking information on the ingredients and origin of the spices they buy, with transparency becoming an increasingly important factor. This conscientious consumer behaviour has prompted industry players to step up certification measures such as organic labels and fair trade. The volume of spices consumed by the French has also seen an upward trajectory, with spending on spices, condiments and seasonings per person rising from around 50 euros to almost 90 euros, representing a stable 5% of the French food basket. This consistency in spending implies that spices are becoming an increasingly important part of the gastronomic habits of French households.

French demand for spices thus reflects a growth dynamic, marked by the sophistication of tastes moving towards global gastronomy, an increase in market value and heightened consumer vigilance with regard to product transparency. These elements intertwine to present a spice market that is not only booming, but reflecting broader cultural and economic changes In the aromatic world of espices, several specialist players, as well as major food conglomerates, are actively defining the contours of the industry through their diversified offerings and strategic market positioning.

Companies specializing in spices:

  • Fuchs France: A leading figure in the spice market, Fuchs France stands out for its commitment to offering a wide variety of spices and seasoning blends for both the retail and professional sectors. Its commitment to quality and authenticity places it at the heart of the flavor industry.

  • Maille: Renowned for its gourmet mustards and vinegars, Maille also extends its expertise to the manufacture of top-quality spices. The company fuses traditional recipes with modern taste to create an indulgent experience for food lovers.

  • Saint Lucia: With its rich history and expertise in spices, this brand has built its reputation on supplying a diverse range of high-quality spices. Its dedication to excellence makes it a trusted supplier for anyone looking to enhance their dishes.

  • Arcadie: Operating under the Cook brand, Arcadie is known for its emphasis on organic spices and herbs. Promoting responsible and sustainable consumption, Arcadie is a favorite of environmentally conscious food lovers.

  • McCormick France (Ducros): The French subsidiary of American spice giant McCormick, Ducros is synonymous with spices and household seasonings in France. Its wide range of products and innovative flavor combinations keep it at the forefront of the industry.

Major food conglomerates with interests in spices:

  • Unilever: A giant of the consumer goods industry, Unilever not only dominates many market segments, but also has a strong presence in the spice sector, leveraging its global distribution networks to supply culinary elements worldwide.

  • Kraft Heinz: Kraft Heinz, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, ensures that spices are an integral part of its product offering, helping to enhance the taste profile of its renowned brands.

  • General Mills France: Best known for its breakfast cereals and bakery products, General Mills also ventures into the spice market, infusing its food products with high-quality spices that cater to a wide range of palates and cuisines.

The diverse strategies of these companies and their investments in quality, organic sourcing and product innovation are shaping the competitive landscape of the spice industry. as the market evolves, their role becomes increasingly crucial in meeting the growing demands and changing tastes of consumers worldwide.

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Spices are aromatic plant substances used to season food. They come from plant bark, leaves, fruit, flowers, bulbs or seeds. The spice market is often divided into several subsets: peppers, condiments, aromatic herbs and blends.

The global spice market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 4% per year between 2021 and 2030. India is a heavyweight in this market, being both the world's leading producer and consumer. In terms of global demand, it is followed by Indonesia, also a producer-consumer, and Europe. On the European market, the French rank third in terms of consumption, behind the Germans and Belgians. French demand is growing fast, with consumption estimated to have risen by 30% between 2009 and 2018[franceinfo].

Spice production is largely carried out by small farmers on narrow plots of land. Producers then deliver their harvest to a trader or exporter. The latter deal directly with manufacturers, who then package the finished product and sell it to supermarket chains. In France, the Ducros brand, a subsidiary of the American giant McCormick, is the main market player.

Today's spice market is particularly dynamic, driven by trends such as the vegetalization of the diet, the trend towards world cuisines and the buoyant blends segment. Spices are often packaged in convenient, pre-measured sachets, bringing a taste of faraway lands to new consumers. Although they represent only 10% of the overall market, their volume growth is estimated at +22% in 2019. The other dynamic at work on the market is the development of the professional spice market, notably with its use in cheese and chicken. This is a buoyant niche in the United States, but one in which France is not yet mature.

1.2 The global spice market

The global spice market is a vast and growing market. The cultivation of spices spread under the influence of colonial empires. The use of pepper, vanilla, saffron and chilli has gone from being geographically limited to becoming a culinary essential. What's more, more and more spices are being used in industrial ...

1.3 The French spice market

The spice market in France is valued at ***.* million euros between April **** and April ****, down **.*% on the previous period. Despite this year's decline, the market has enjoyed strong growth in previous years. Industry players remain confident in the market's dynamism, thanks to a number of favorable trends: the craze for world ...

1.4 France's place in the international spice trade

France's balance of trade in spices is heavily in deficit. It imports more than twice as much as it exports, i.e. over $*** million in imports in ****, for $** million in exports.

French exports of condiments and seasonings France, **** - *****, in millions of euros Source: ****

Its main suppliers are the Netherlands, Germany ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 France's favorite spices

A survey published by Ipsos in **** under the name Le Goût des Français, looks at French tastes in terms of cooking. First and foremost, **% of French people use spices in their cooking. On the other hand, only **% of French people surveyed say they use herbes de provence in their ...

2.2 Spice demand as a percentage of French food spending

In a deteriorating economic context, where the question of purchasing power has become central, food expenditure is the adjustment variable in household budgets, particularly for the less well-off. At the end of ****, the price of the French food basket cost an average of €***.** according to Franceinfo, up **.*% year-on-year according to NielsenIQ, ...

2.3 The use of spices in industrial processes

The use of spices is not limited to the catering and food sectors. In fact, spices are used on a large scale in France:

By the food industry, in particular industrial chocolate makers (***) By the cosmetics industry, notably during the industrial processes involved in the production of perfumes and other skincare ...

2.4 French consumers are increasingly sensitive to the composition of their products and the origin of their ingredients

Consumers are increasingly sensitive to the composition of cosmetics and food products, some of whose ingredients and additives may be harmful. Consumers are increasingly wary of the cosmetics and food industries, and are paying more and more attention to product quality and the sustainability of the value chain. The Yuka start-up ...

2.5 Demand for spices driven by the craze for world cuisine

Today, spice sales are being driven by the trend towards world cuisines, particularly Asian and Tex-Mex, which are taking root in French eating habits. According to Circana, the world products sector (***) will account for sales of *** million euros over the period from the end of February **** to the end of February ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Simplified diagram of market structure

3.2 Spice distribution networks in France

Spices are a key private label product. Most sales of spices, herbs and blends are sold under private labels. In ****, the value of sales of spices marketed under private labels is *** million euros, while the value of sales of spices sold under national brands is only ** million (***).

Breakdown of condiment and ...

3.3 An unbalanced value chain

The spice market is a highly complex raw materials market. Indeed, it is characterized by the fragmentation of the value chain and the large number of intermediaries, which confers considerable market power on the major industrial groups, to the detriment of small-scale producers.

The example of vanilla

The example of the ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Spice production stages

Broadly speaking, the production and marketing of spices involves four different stages: cultivation, processing, blending and brand creation:

Cultivating spices: cultivating spices can be complicated by the specific characteristics of each spice produced. Indeed, depending on the type of spice, techniques and weather requirements may vary. Treatment: the traditional treatment applied ...

4.2 The volatility of spice prices

Vanilla is considered the most expensive spice in the world, behind saffron. Indeed, a kilogram of vanilla costs on average between €*** and €***, far behind saffron, which can be worth tens of thousands of euros per kilogram, but well ahead of other spices such as cumin, pepper and others, whose price per ...

4.3 Premiumization of the spice offer

A number of changes are taking place among spice brands, notably with the development of organic products and premiumization, which are important growth drivers

Organic spices

Consumers are increasingly sensitive to the composition of food products, as some ingredients and additives can be harmful. Consumers are increasingly wary of the agri-food ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations governing the production of food flavors and spices

Flavors are subject to regulatory harmonization at European level under regulation CE/****/****. Regulation (***) no. ****/**** lays down the conditions for the use of flavorings. This regulation also specifies the prohibited flavors and substances, the maximum doses that can be used for certain flavors, and the labeling rules applicable at European level. [***]. Food ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Positioning the players

  • Amora Maille
  • McCormick
  • General Mills
  • Kraft Heinz
  • Arcadie
  • Fuchs Gewürze
  • Sainte-Lucie
  • Ducros (McCormick France)
  • Moiret Ets
  • Perles d'Anjou - CAPL (Coopérative agricole des Pays de la Loire)
  • Trescarte
  • Eric Bur
  • Epices du Monde

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Global spice market trends
  • Main spice-producing regions
  • Major spice exporters
  • Main spice importers
  • Trends in the PHEM segment, by volume
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Latest news

Heinz adds a dash of vinegar to its Tomato ketchup - 16/05/2024
  • - Condiments market in 2023: €1.18 billion.
  • - Growth: +12%.
  • - French supermarket ketchup sales: €120 million
Cheapflation: the answer from Maille (Unilever)n - 08/02/2024
  • The phenomenon of Cheapflation, i.e. the replacement of certain products or foods by cheaper substitutes, in order to maintain margins or a consumer selling price.
  • One example is ice cream, which is no longer called "ice cream" but "frozen dessert", due to the replacement of dairy products with fillers.
  • Six brands accused of abusing the Cheapflation phenomenon by Foodwatch: After Eight, Milka, Fleury Michon, Maille, Bordeau Chesnel and Findus (out of more than 20,000 references in hypermarkets).
  • Maille's "fins gourmets" mayonnaise is specifically implicated, having seen the proportion of egg yolk present in the sauce reduced by 24.7% between November 2023 and January 2024.
  • Unilever has had to adjust the composition of its products in order to continue producing certain recipes that consumers love, at their factory near Dijon.
Increased production of pulses by Trescarte. - 13/06/2023
  • Trescarte sales: 13 million euros, an increase of 20% in one year.
  • Company size: 25 employees.
  • Plant under construction: 9,000 square meters.
  • Packaging capacity in the new plant: between 15,000 and 18,000 tonnes of dried vegetables per year, i.e. three times more than at present.
  • Company founded: 1959.
  • Current breakdown of company sales: 60% lentils, rest pulses other than lentils.
Perles d'Anjou quinoa plant to be delivered in 2024 - 05/06/2023
  • Project initiated by CAPL (Coopérative agricole des Pays de la Loire) and Abbottagra, players in the Quinoa d'Anjou sector.
  • CAPL: sales of 246 million euros by 2022.
  • Quinoa d'Anjou chain created 15 years ago.
  • 400 producers involved.
  • Annual production of around 3,000 tonnes.
  • French and European leader in quinoa production.
  • Perles d'Anjou industrial site under construction, 22,000 m2 on a 7-hectare site.
  • Investment of 16 million euros.
  • Target markets: food industry, supermarkets, specialty stores and foodservice.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Amora Maille
General Mills
Kraft Heinz
Fuchs Gewürze
Ducros (McCormick France)
Moiret Ets
Perles d'Anjou - CAPL (Coopérative agricole des Pays de la Loire)
Eric Bur

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