Home cooking boosts spice sales
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CAPE Herb & Spice, a Libstar Holdings subsidiary, said the urge by consumers to create restaurant-quality dishes at home had been a major boost for its products.
Cape Herb & Spice chief executive Paul Jibson said on Friday that the company had witnessed a significant spike in demand in most of their export markets.
“We’ve seen consumers wanting to fill their pantries, explore different kinds of at-home cooking and wanting to travel via their taste buds,” Jibson said.
Jibson said the company had noticed that more consumers were interested in the flavours of global cuisines.
“This has been good news in the spice category and has created new opportunities for innovation, which is of course, a hallmark of the Libstar family,” said Jibson.
Last year, Cape Herb & Spice expanded its Cape Town facility, adding new production lines to meet local and global consumer demand. While the increased at-home cooking trends were seen in most countries, how that manifested into actual product demand was diverse.
Jibson said there were general trends such as increased worldwide orders for chilli seasonings and their global cuisine Spice Rub tins, but there were also striking differences. “For example, demand for curry seasonings spiked in Canada; in Germany, it was barbeque spice, while Thai 7 Spice took off in New Zealand, and smoked paprika was a winner in Singapore,” said Jibson.
Jibson also said that consumers were clearly more experimental in their cooking, because the company saw little-known spices such as sumac suddenly becoming popular both as an ingredient in blends and as a stand-alone spice.
Advising potential exporters of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Jibson said that they would be operating in multiple markets, and they would have to know and understand their customers who were going to be distinct.
“Once you have that understanding, flexibility is the next priority. To be successful you need to be able to fit into your different customers’ diverse strategies to grow a category. We’ve learnt how important it is to be able to provide brands that stand out on retailer shelves, deliver innovation to consumers and be a notable point of difference for the retailer,” said Jibson.
Cape Herb & Spice began as a single entrepreneur-run barrow outlet at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, and currently employs more than 700 people. It exports numerous product ranges from its herbs and spices and tea lines into highly competitive markets across the globe.
Libstar generated nearly R1.24 billion in export revenue during 2020, and exported to more than 50 countries globally, with the largest contributor to its export channel being Cape Herb & Spice.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE