Spice industry is one of the biggest field for the industrial development of Bangladesh. This is really propagating immensely in the business market growing by around 15% a year. As an agriculture-based country, Bangladesh is well-known for producing different spices besides other sectors. Though according to the majority, many Bangladeshi people still use verdant spices from market or cultivate by themselves and then processed it at home for maintaining the freshness of the spice, busy urban people are using branded processed spices to cook. Rural mass are also consuming these spices. But everyone remains aware of the absolute hygiene of the product.
Spice is a very delicatemerchandise for cooking daily food, people don’t take the hazard about the quality and so they extend theirattention on the previous experience of using specific brand. According to the market survey, 132 respondents out of 200 use Radhuni spice whereas 38 use PRAN, 14 use BD, 6 use Arku and 10 use other branded spices (such as Tiger, ACI, Rupchada, Fresh etc.).
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These packed spices are replacing fresh spices in Bangladeshi kitchens faster with an estimated market size of Tk. 900-1,200 crore per year with a yearly growth rate of 15-20%. Though Bangladesh is still dependent on imported spices to a large extent, local spice industries are trying their best to make vast improvement of the present market condition. According to the agricultural production trends listed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), some discerning spices in Bangladesh have made momentousdevelopment over the last decade or so; among those are onion, ginger and garlic. Over a period of nine years from 2003 to 2011, onion production increased 585%, garlic 514%, ginger 74%, and other spices 192%. Only chili production showed a dismal performance of 28% increase. Onion cultivation recorded an increase in land use of 240%, garlic 191%, ginger 20%, and other spices 52%. Land for chili production, on the other hand, decreased by 38%. It is clear from these trends that farmer interest in onion and garlic cultivation had been the highest, whereas, interest in chili production, the lowest. Onion, garlic and ginger are still being imported due to a supply gap. This may help farmers to keep interested in these crops.
But none of these three crops are major part of packaged spice industry. Though ginger and garlic are becoming available in dried or paste form of late, they are still not part of the major packaged spices list. Turmeric, coriander and cumin are major packaged spices along with chili. Their production figures had been very explosive. After getting good prices in one season, many farmers got fascinated in their cultivation, which resulted in a price reduction the next season. DAE (Department of Agriculture Extension) officials think that reduction in import volume can encourage farmers to cultivate spices. There is no way to grow these crops if the farmers see no profit.
The products are being promoted in the country upheld by branding efforts, excellent TV ads, eye-catching and eminence packaging. But spice industrialistscontemplate that it is the quality of the product that eventually keeps the customerstrustworthy. Bangladeshi spices have established their place in markets outside the country also. Some brands are now being exported spices to the Middle-East, Malaysia, Australia and other countries. A large number of Bangladeshi workers living in the Middle-East that are mainly consuming Bangladeshi spices. Familiarity with Bangladeshi spice flavors and an inherent nationalism is probably the biggest motivating factor for this market segment. These people not only send a big remittance back to the country, they are also helping to establish a market for Bangladeshi products in those countries. Though Bangladeshi brands are not that popular among non-Bangladeshi people from the Indian Sub-continent in those countries, the scenario had been gradually changing of late because of the improvement of quality of Bangladeshi spices. Mixed spices seem to have a good prospect in these markets. Different markets want different flavors. While the Malaysian market wants their spices to produce roseatecolors, Middle-Eastern markets do not like red. The mixed spices being marketed in different countries are now being matched with the diverse food habits in those countries. Bangladeshi marketers arealso learning about the packaging, taste and quality norms from foreigner marketers.