The World of Spices: An Overview –

  • Analysis
  • 05-October-2015

The tantalizing aroma and flavour that 109 varieties of spices (acc. to ISO) add to the world cuisine is remarkable. These plant extracts have been used and traded since ancient civilizations. The food industry largely depends on these spices to lure its customers. The various uses of spices are discussed below.


      Uses of Spices and Herbs                                 Examples of Spices
Flavouring Parsley, cinnamon  allspice, dill, mint, tarragon, cumin, marjoram, star anise, basil, garlic, onion, bay leaves, clove, thyme, tarragon, cumin, marjoram, star anise, basil, rosemary, caraway, sage, savoury, coriander, anise, mace, nutmeg, fennel, sesame, vanilla etc.
Deodorizing/masking Garlic savory, bay leaves, clove, leek,thyme, rosemary, caraway, sage, oregano, onion, coriander etc.
Pungency Garlic, savory, bay leaves, clove, leek, parsley, pepper, allspice, mint, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, caraway, sage, oregano, cumin, star anise; mace, fennel, sesame, onion, coriander, Japanese pepper, mustard etc,
Colouring Turmeric, paprika, saffron
Medicinal Properties of
Turmeric, clove, ginger , garlic, aniseed, allspice, bay leaves, caraway, kokam, mustard, oregano, basil, sage, thyme, pepper etc.
Insect repellent properties
of spices
Fenugreek, fennel, indian dill, basil, mint, cumin, oregano etc.
Antimicrobial activity of
 Basil, fenugreek, fennel, ajowan, oregano, allspice etc.
Antioxidants isolated from
Rosemary, sage oregano, thyme, ginger , turmeric, clove, chilli pepper etc.
Spices and herbs used in 
  alcoholic beverages
Ginger, clove, mace, peppermint, anise, vanilla, fennel, coriander

The global spice industry involves a long value chain from growers, collectors, producers, exporters, importers, distributors to consumers. The global spices market has stable demand which moves with the population and eating trends. Economic changes do not sway the demands for the spices, but play a major role in the pricing of these products. Currency fluctuations, production volumes, climate variations affect the demand and supply of these plant extracts. The developing nations are the major suppliers of this high value, easy to store commodity.

The European and North American region are large consumers of this plant treasure. UK, Germany,Romania and Hungary - accounts for the major demand of spices among all the European countries. Many countries like Singapore have developed themselves as re -exporter of spices. Pepper and cardamom are the most traded spices and are aptly called the King and the Queen of spices. India, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Vietnam, Thailand are the major pepper producing countries. Guatemala and India are the two major giants producing cardamom. India leads the spice industry as a prime exporter, producer and consumer.

The major players in the market are McCormick &Company,Olam International Limited , Ariake Japan Company Limited , Associated British Foods plc , Sensient Technologies Corporation ,Everest Spices and Kerry Group plc.The increasing disposable income is facilitating convenience food, snacking, and exploration of different world cuisines – thus augmenting the spices market. Moreover with stringent rules for food products by various legislative bodies – market for organic spices is also gaining momentum.

Read the synopsis of our report on - Global Plant Extracts Market Research Report - Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 – 2021