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12/21/2020

Hot Category: Seasonings sales heat up

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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It appears that COVID-19 is adding some excitement to the spices and seasonings category as consumers stay home more and seek out just about anything to make a meal more interesting and tasty. 

As of November, more than 70 million consumers bought a private label seasoning or spice product, just behind 72 million for Lawry’s and 160.5 million consumers for McCormick & Co. — Statista

The result is a nearly 40% increase in category sales with private label items getting a big share of that growth as price points and product differentiation play larger roles. “Consumers have been home cooking and experimenting with flavors more than ever, and this has been supported by social media, cooking programs on TV and the innovative online ordering of ‘ready to make’ dinner solutions,” said Gerhard Martin, executive director of Cape Foods, a South African private label supplier. “We believe that the home cooking experience will be part of the new normal and will ensure that the sales of spice and seasonings will remain at these higher levels.”

Martin added that the growth in plant-based food offerings is adding to the demand for innovative seasonings and salts, and this will drive further growth. Plus, he said, consumers are becoming more health conscious, and the high mineral content of pure sea salt and Himalayan salt is becoming more and more important to them.

So how does the industry keep the momentum going in the right direction? Martin said that now, more than ever, consumers are looking for value — and retailers have been doing a stunning job in securing quality alternatives at great prices. “Private brands now cover the basics such as salts and pepper, and an increasing innovative range of seasonings,” he said. “There is no compromise on quality, but pricing is better because the consumer is not paying a premium for the traditional brand leader’s product.”

Hot stats:

  • As of November, more than 70 million consumers bought a private label seasoning or spice product, just behind 72 million for Lawry’s and 160.5 million consumers for McCormick & Co. — Statista
  • The global spices and seasonings market is expected to grow from about $16 billion in 2018 to $23 billion in 2026. — National Seasoning Manufacturers Association
  • Consumption of spices, seasonings, marinades and rubs was up more than 50% for the month of July. — NPD Group. 
  • Global seasoning and spices registered as a $13.8 billion category in 2019. — Grand View Research
  • Total herbs, spices, seasonings and extracts category sales increased by 38.1% during the 36-week pandemic period ended Nov. 7 compared to the same time last year. — Nielsen