Spices have been traded since ancient times and India has been at the helm of this trade. It all started with Portuguese navigator Vasco de Gama making the first sea voyage from Europe to India in 1498 and opening up trade routes. At present, India grows more than 60 different kinds of spices and produces 60 lakh MT, of which 11 percent is exported to more than 150 nations. Today, the country is the largest exporter of spices followed by Vietnam and China. The exquisite taste, aroma, texture and medicinal properties of black pepper, cardamom, cumin seed, mustard seed and fenugreek are nurtured mostly in small land holdings and organic farms in the country.
In FY 2020, the Indian organic spices market stood at 200 million dollars with an estimated CAGR of 11 percent over the next five years. This buoyant growth rate is mainly being driven by the increasing awareness among end-users about the harmful effects of chemicals, pesticides and additives on health.
Spices – Adding unique flavor to every recipe:
Spices add their unique flavor and essence to recipes and play a pivotal role in defining the way food is cooked and served in different parts of the world. Some of the spices routinely used in kitchens across the globe are cumin, black pepper, coriander seeds, turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon. These are nutritious and help build immunity in individuals.
So, what are organic spices?
The herbs, seasonings and garnishes grown and sourced organically are termed as organic spices. These are cultivated using organic manure and bio-fertilizers to maintain their wholesome goodness. Also, safe sterilization methods such as steaming are used to maintain the purity and goodness of the end products.
Carcinogenic sterilization using harmful chemicals such as ethylene oxide is avoided to stop the passing over of toxicity to humans. The farming practices also rule out the use of pesticides and contaminants. Chemicals and fertilizers are not used to ensure timely yield. Moreover, anti-clumping agents and additional fillers & flavors are not used to rule out high levels of MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate), which has a negative impact on health.
Market by type includes the following categories:
Turmeric holds the largest market share because of its healing qualities in myriad health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and joint pains, amongst the types mentioned above.
Market by form includes the following categories:
Ready to cook powdered organic spices is all set to dominate the market because of ease of use and savings provided in overall cooking time.
Market by region includes the following categories:
The western market dominates the organic spice market in the country owning to the large production by Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Drivers for Indian Organic Spices Market:
Emerging opportunities for the organic spices market for 2021 – 2028 are being driven by the following factors
- Rising awareness about the nutritional benefits of organic condiments compared to non-organic variants
- Increase in Government policies benefitting organic farming techniques and manufacturing practices
- Increase in Research and Development Activities in organic farming
- Rise in the number of health-conscious consumers
Use of herbs and condiments in the pharmaceutical industry:
This market for Indian organic spices and herbs is expected to further grow with the incorporation of the herbs and condiments in drug formulations. Biologists are reviewing the medicinal values of the same through in vitro and in vivo trials and tabulating evidence for antimicrobial activities. Active compounds in extracts of black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon are being studied for their preventive roles in several diseases by representing the antioxidants in body cells.
Rise in export of organic food products exports including spices:
According to the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, the country’s export of organic food products increased by 51 percent to USD 1 billion in 2020-2021. Spices and condiments featured among the food products recording a significant growth in exports. Organic products from India have been exported to 58 nations which include Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South Korea, and the USA. The major importers of Indian organic spices are the USA, Germany, and Netherlands.
At present, the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) dictate the norms according to which the organic products for export are produced, processed, packed and labeled. This NPOP certification is recognized by Switzerland and the European Union. Ongoing negotiations with Taiwan, Korea, Japan, UAE, New Zealand and Austria for achieving mutual recognition agreements for exports of organic products are currently underway.