The report on the South African spice sector examines current conditions, the size of the industry and factors influencing its success. The report profiles 37 companies active in the sector including major players such as the Rhodes Food Group which acquired Durban-based Pakco for R200m in October 2016 and Freddy Hirsch Group (Pty) Ltd, which sells dry spices, soups and mixes to domestic and global markets. Also profiled is Deli Spices whose customers include leading retail corporates, independent multinational butcheries and delis, major meat processing plants, speciality customers, and food services and catering organisations. French company, Mane acquired a stake in the local business in January 2017, a move that is expected to help as far as innovation and expansion are concerned.
The South African Spice Sector
South Africa imports a variety of raw spices from Russia, China, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Australia and Thailand. The spices are cleaned, milled, blended and packed in South Africa, thus ensuring the safety of the final product as there are some international suppliers that add corn starch, maize meal and flour as fillers. Dried, crushed and ground chillies account for 20% of all spice imports. Other significant spice imports are coriander seeds, turmeric and whole pepper. Locally approximately 10,000 tons of chillies and peppers are produced every year in the main growing areas of Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
An Exporter of Spices
Although South Africa imports approximately 90% of its raw spices, it successfully exports spices to neighbouring Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. South Africa exported approximately R2.2bn worth of spices for the three years, 2015 to 2017, recording a positive trade balance of approximately R1.5bn for the same period. Regional demand for spice and herb extracts is expected to remain stable with the key drivers including the shifting consumer focus towards natural products and the increasing demand for healthy convenience foods.