Time for exciting flavours

Date: 2008. 05. 21. 08:00

The increasing popularity of barbecue parties has a positive effect on the sales of mixed spices. Further growth is dependent on more special, exotic flavours. “Magyarosch” cuisine relying on pepper and red paprika is a thing of the past. The market of spices is a complex and well developed one. – Sales of Kotányi increase by over 50 per cent in the barbecue season and during the swine slaughter season – says István Meyer, sales director of the market leader. – The larger part of our annual sales of mixed spices take place in the May-August period –says Gábor Heltai, sales director of Házi Piros Kft. Some mixes, like grill for example, can only be sold in this period. Sales of basic spices are stable, but manufacturer’s brands face tougher competition by private labels, than among more exotic spices. Prices have also been rising in the world market. However, as foreign gastronomy is becoming increasingly popular, the range of mono spices has also become more colourful than before. – Special trends keep appearing with varying success, but their overall share remains limited in the market of spices – says Zoltán Fekete, trade marketing manager from Unilever Magyarország Kft. Italian spices like oregano seem to enjoy lasting success, whereas demand for spices from Indian cuisine remains limited. Cooking programs on TV have a positive effect on sales of some spices. While the market share of private labels has been in decline among mono spices for the last two years, the opposite is true for mixed spices. This indicates a change in the policy followed by retail chains, which have began focusing on mixed spices. Average prices have showb great diversity in most spice categories in the last two years. Prices fluctuate primarily because retailers who focus exclusively on low prices follow competitors, as they regard prices as the only area of competition. Consumers are generally not aware of the fact that different prices reflect different quality. Bottles equipped with dispensers reflect premium quality well. – Consumers are open to innovation, though demand for bottled spices is limited yet – remarks Gábor Heltai. In Western Europe, bottled spices account for a larger part of sales than spices in pouches. This time of the year is the season for mixed spices. Kotányi was the first to launch a mix of spices 12 years ago. According to István Mayer, as development of the category has slowed down, consumers are increasingly looking for unique and individual flavours. One of the new Kotányi products is the “Italia” product line in four different flavourings. Instant pickles are the most successful Knorr products, which allow the time required for pickling to be reduced to 20-30 minutes. As the possibilities of Házi Piros Kft. are more limited in promotional activities than those of the leading brands, they are replacing multi-packs by a prize game launched in May and targeted at housewives.