Dubai is the hub for spices trade. The amount of raw and processed spice imports stands at around AED 650 mn (2008). The spices market consists of branded and unbranded products.
The unbranded market mainly consists of B class supermarkets who have their own spices.
The major products are spices, pourable and spoon type salad dressings, non tomato based prepared sauces and powdered seasoning mixes. Other products are mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, cider, powdered gravy and sauces mix, salt, and pepper.
Demand for spices is driven by a booming expatriate population consisting mainly of Indians and Pakistanis. The infrequence nature of buying from customers as they are buying based on a recipe is a challenge. The threat of adulteration makes it necessary to have high standards of quality control. Additionally, the bad crop in the spice producing countries can adversely impact the sector.
- Opportunity for manufacturing Arabic spices with focus on exports to Arab countries and Africa- Arabic Mix: Zaatar, Sumac, Rosemary, Tahina (prod. In Jordan and Lebanon) and Premix business – Chicken Biryani etc.
- Although saturated with local and foreign players, limited opportunities exist for niche players to manufacture spices based on regional preferences and tastes ( regional branding using Zaatar, Sumac, Rosemary and Tahina)
- Packaging to enhance reusability
- Combinations of ready spices, curry mixes
- Manufacturers opting for green sustainable methods to produce and sell spices – biodegradable packaging etc.
- Gyma (34% market share) and Shama (both Dubai based) are leading brands in spices in UAE. There are also a number of small mills that are grinding spices.