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The South African Spice Sector
This report focuses on the local herb and spice industry. South Africa produces and exports some raw spices and also imports a wide range of its requirements for further processing and for use in the manufacture of spice preparations. National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) statistics indicate that the country’s trade in spices is increasing. Between 2010 and 2014 spices to the value of R799m were exported, an increase of 13%, while the value of imports increased 15% to approximately R796m.
The demand for spices and herbs has been growing as more consumers opt for healthier and more naturally flavoured foods, and manufacturers attempt to include a “more home-cooked” flavour to their products. Increased demand is reflected by the investments that have been made in the sector, by both public and private enterprises. Acquisitions such as that of Southern Canned Products by AECI, via its Lake Foods operations in May 2015 and Libstar Holding’s acquisition of Natural Herbs and Spices the following month also illustrate the growing interest in the sector. The export market to Europe, the United States and Australia holds promise for locally-based companies and South Africa is already recognised as the gateway for the ‘re-export’ of spices to neighbouring countries.
This report on the South African spice sector examines current conditions, the size of the industry and factors influencing its success. The report also profiles 41 industry players, including Unilever, manufacturer of Robertson’s herbs and spices brand which has a market share of approximately 13% in the retail sector, and Cape Town-based Natural Herbs and Spices, which focuses on the export market. Also involved in the sector are a number of SMMEs, including Bandito’s Chile Co (Pty) Ltd, which employs five people to manufacture and wholesale its spicy table sauces.