Herbs and Spices on Brown Wooden Chopping Board

In the food and beverage industry, the role of spices and herbs must be recognized, which explains why the import of these ingredients is rapidly increasing in the world. For several years now, the rate of imports has fluctuated, but has undoubtedly grown and shows potential to increase further in coming years.

Besides its role in the food and beverages industry, the world market also understands the health benefits of these herbs, as many are known to be beneficial for the immune system. During the coronavirus pandemic, it was noted that the sales of medicinal herbs like ginger and garlic grew significantly in the European market. The United States also recorded a similar situation as Americans increased their use of supplements made with these products. The records of iHerb new customer discount usage from yoursherbs.com also significantly increased during this period which shows a rising interest of customers in supplements with herbs and spices. 

In What Parts Of The World Are Demands The Highest?

Europe alone accounts for approximately one-quarter of the world’s imported herbs and spices. Asia overtook Europe in 2021 as the largest importer of herbs and spices, with about 45% of the market share. Europe, however, accounted for 28% of the total imports while North America took 17% of the market share. Africa and Latin Africa took 8% of this number while Oceania had the lowest import rate, only 2%. 

Of all the European countries, the demands for these herbs were strongest in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. The increased demand in these regions can also be attributed to trends including functionality, sustainability, growth in traditional foods and beverages, and salt reduction efforts in these parts of the world. In addition, many countries worldwide are already attempting to substitute artificial flavoring and spices in their meals with natural counterparts that have actual health benefits and can increase the nutrients in meals. 

Ginger remains the medicinal herb with the highest demand in the world, especially since the coronavirus pandemic, along with other herbs known to be beneficial to the immune system. However, spices like pepper and cinnamon have a large market as well, making them relatively consolidated goods.  

Why Is The Demand For Herbs And Spices Especially High In The USA?

Though the importance of herbs and spices in the USA market continues to increase, the supply remains low as there is a limited production of spices. There are a few producers of essential herbs and spices in the region, which is why the supply is affected. Hence, the region has become reliant on many developing countries with poor logistics, especially for essential spices. 

However, the situation is better regarding herbs, as many are produced in European countries with good logistics. Dried herbs like parsley, chives, coriander, and thyme, for example, are produced in France, Greece, and Italy. Poland, Romania, Spain, and Bulgaria also produce quite a number of spices and herbs. However, a decline in the production rate has been recorded in Europe for some years, resulting in increased demand and imports of these products.