Demand for ethnic flavors spices up category sales
Spice consumption is at an all-time high as consumers’ changing palates are craving more flavor. During the 1950s, Americans stocked less than 10 spices in their pantries. Today, the average American’s pantry includes up to 40 different and diverse spices, according to research from McCormick & Co.
The trend means strong sales in the spice category, which has grown 11% over the past five years, according to McCormick. Global flavors used in Mediterranean, Indian, Asian and African cuisines are driving the category. Spicy flavors have become very popular with consumers; McCormick research showed that sales of chipotle chile pepper increased 70% in five years. Sales of ancho chile pepper and wasabi also are heating up as consumers search for the next exciting flavors.
“Curry used to mean just one thing, but as consumers become more sophisticated, red and green curries are finding their way to foods in the [United States],” said Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights at the Hartman Group. Abbott said that such new flavors as go chu jang, a Korean sweet chili sauce, and shiso, an Asian basil flavoring, are becoming popular.
With consumers looking to spices to provide health benefits, category sales could grow even stronger. Research from McCormick’s Science Institute showed that many spices and herbs contain antioxidant levels comparable to fruits and vegetables.
Scientific evidence is building around potential health-related benefits of spices and herbs. “We’re seeing a lot more interest in spices that have anti-inflammatory benefits, such as turmeric, and spices that have digestive benefits,” Abbott said.
Spice marketers like McCormick are positioning spices as “creative substitutes” to sodium and other “off-limit” ingredients. The company is making a point of reducing the sodium in many of its products by 30%.
McCormick also has developed a number of product and seasonal displays, such as a grilling display that can be used to promote its Grill Mates line, a brand that has had double- digit increases for several years.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Spices/Seasonings Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Mars Chocolate kicks off campaigns for Twix, Snickers
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate is putting emphasis on its Twix and Snickers candies with two respective campaigns.
Twix’s Pause Like You Mean It campaign will include the "Pick Your Pause" on-pack promotion, where consumers instantly can win more than 250,000, as well as the chance to win a $50,000 grand-prize sweepstakes called “The Perfect Pause.” The campaign also will be supported through digital promotion on music and gaming websites and social media outreach.
Meanwhile, Snickers is launching a cause-related campaign with Feeding America called Bar Hunger. Building on last year’s partnership, Snickers is looking to donate up to 3.5 million meals to the organization and will engage consumers by asking them to submit UPC codes to Snickers.com or via text message to 45495. The campaign will be supported with specially marked packaging, which will be on store shelves now through October.
Kronos acquires Pita King bread manufacturer
GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. — Kronos is expanding its bread products line with its acquisition of Pita King’s commercial baking assets.
The acquisition marks Kronos’ foray into flatbread production. The company, which currently markets such items as Mediterranean Chef gyro family meal kit and Kronos Fillo Classics, now will market Pita King’s authentic Middle Eastern pocket breads in a variety of sizes and formulations, including white and whole wheat.
"As one of the nation’s largest Mediterranean food companies, we are continually expanding our product line with innovative, great-tasting products that are responsive to the needs of our customers," Kronos CEO Mike Austin said. "We believe Pita King’s specialty breads will be very attractive to our chain, specialty, grocery and independent restaurant accounts."