Spice Imports; How to Start Exporting Spice from Africa to Most Lucrative Markets

So! I am very excited to write this Story because the spice trade is a business that I am very passionate about and in which plan to invest; but also because love well-seasoned dishes: their scent, their flavor, hum! Yum! But not the only one.

You too, I think.

Imagine your meals without salt it would be a disaster. Is not it? Spices and us is a very old story, and one that continues to consolidate over the years thanks to factors such as globalization and the rapprochement of cultures, curiosity and the desire to bring others flavors on our tables and awareness of the medicinal properties of certain spices. Therefore, millions upon millions of tons of spices are consumed every year.

The transparency Market Research expects growth needs for spices and seasonings from S 14 billion to S 16.6 billion by 2021. This represents a huge market for bulk spice importers, spice producers and traders of these products. In this article, I’ll open your eyes to the multiple opportunities this sector presents and how Africans can invest and prosper in the spice trade.

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Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

A spice ‘s seed, a fruit, root, a bark, a berry, a bud or a plant substance, the best known and most popular use of which is in cooking for seasoning, coloring and preserving food. . Even originally, most spices were used to preserve food, thanks to their fungicidal, bactericidal or bacteriostatic properties to kill or inhibit the growth of organisms that could damage food.

This is the case of cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, cassia and myrrh. Closely related to this function is that of masking the bad taste or odor of food. Some spices like onion or gar ‘c are used as a vegetable.

Hmm, I love that!

The spice market has never stopped growing for centuries. It is also one of the few industries that does not experience slowdown even during periods of recession.

The paint is that due to globalization there is an intermixing of culinary traditions. The growing curiosity for new flavors provides an opportunity for ethnic and exotic spices and herbs to travel. In addition, ethnic minority groups are growing an all continents and in all countries.

Finally, international spice importers especially in USA and European region, are looking for mare convenience: They have busy lives and do not have time to prepare their meals, which leads to a growing demand for ready to-eat or semi-prepared meals that rely on spices and herbs to preserve and enhance their flavor.

The awareness about the therapeutic properties of certain spices are so leading to a significant expansion of the spices market in the world.

Today, spices are consumed in almost every household and every day we are curious to try new ones. But the biggest consumers remain Asians, Europeans and Americans.

There are two important things to make sure before starting the spice trade. The first’s to choose whether you are going to introduce foreign spices to domestic consumers or to introduce local spices to foreign consumers and list of spice importers in USA. The second is to choose between producing the spices (growing, processing and selling) and simply selling. I will discuss all of these opportunities below.

There are thousands of spices in the world of which around sixty are well known and much appreciated internationally. To focus on the foreign spice trade, you first need to identify interesting blends. Next, decide whether you want to import already processed spices in bulk to pack them yourself before as, or import them in bulk ready for sale or produce them yourself

The spices in the blends below are the most popular. But this write-up shows you a lists most of the known spices for you. The most famous blends are: onion turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, pepper, garlic powder cumin, coriander, block pepper, cardamom ginger, cinnamon, dove, nutmeg), Mexican cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic; 2 paprika, nutmeg, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, celery seeds, pepper. Moroccan pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg Thai (turmeric, garlic, onion, ginger, pepper, coriander, cumin, bay leaf, Herbs basil, rosemary, oregano, savory, thyme, lavender bay leaf block pepper, coriander, clove, Creole paprika, soft, garlic powder, block pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme . But you can experiment with other blends.

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Photo by Andrew Perabeau on Unsplash

Introducing to foreign buyers of spices

There are dozens of spices and herbs a lot consumed by every African people. Most traditional spices have remained local and unknown to other peoples and cultures, even though they have many therapeutic, nutritional, cosmetic properties, etc.

This represents a great opportunity to start great business which would specialize in the production and trade of spices. As mentioned above, Westerners in particular are always on the lookout for new experiences. Exotic products will always be welcome in this industry. And Africa has many of these products just waiting to be presented to the world. The production of spices

In a broad sense, the production of spices goes through four stages: cultivation, processing, blending and branding. But many leading spice exporters, and suppliers kick in from processing, preferring to leave the entire cultivation stage to growers to supply with documentation and cultivation training.


Most spices are easy to grow and usually don’t require a lot of space, high tech, or machinery.

However, to generate maximum profit from your spice business, you will definitely need a good expanse of land. Depending on the type of spices, techniques and farming requirements may differ.

The great advantage for Bulk spice suppliers in south Africa is that most of the spices are grown in the tropical climate, and it is the prevailing climate on the continent. So much so that even spices like vanilla, black pepper and nutmeg that originate from other continents are successfully cultivated in Africa.


The best treatment of spices is through drying. Dried, spices last longer and retain their value for very long time. As a result, most spices can be stored for months, years without the need for advanced or expensive storage facilities. Crushing them greatly increases their surface area as well as the rate of oxidation and evaporation.

The shelf life of a whole dry spice’s roughly two years;

Of a ground spice, about six months. Spices are best stored away from light. You can use a mortar and pestle or fine grater to grind or grind small amounts of spices; coffee grinder is goad for larger quantities.

Mixing and branding:

If you are creative, you can mix together any number of spices that could become your own branding recipe. This strategy works very wen in the West and you could use the same model. Are there some very popular spice blends around you that are still made an your own, without an associated brand? Observe the cooks around you! What spices do they mix regularly for great appreciation? This can be good opportunity for you to produce brand of spices.

Are there any local spices in your home that are sold without packaging?

You can pack the spices in attractive bottles, sachets, or any sort of private label packaging that works for you. Give your product a name to distinguish it from the “naked” spices sold in the market. In this way, you will create locally and internationally recognizable product (which is mandatory if you plan to export); and of course you can sell for a higher price.

The meat industries (beef, chicken, pork, etc.) are the potential wholesale spice buyers. Restaurants and hostels are particularly easy to reach; as well as schools and tourist complexes, culinary, medical and cosmetic research institutions; manufacturers of perfumes and cosmetics. Finally, minority communities in certain countries (example: Africans in the United States). Hope you found this business idea interesting… There is really a lot of money in the spice business and Africa has lot to gain. Creative entrepreneurs have a great opportunity in this industry. So follow your gut if this article wows you. Just start right away!!

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Digital Marketing and Social Media Savvy/ Writer love to write about current affairs and economic affairs/ Commerce graduate

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