Country's spice market
- Key players: ACI, Pran, ACME, and BD Foods
- Bashundhara to start with turmeric, chilli, cumin, and coriander
- Spice market size Tk4,500-5,000cr with a 2-3% growth
- Market of packaged spices grows at 10-15% every year
After ACI, Pran, ACME, and BD Foods, Bangladeshi Industrial conglomerate Bashundhara Group is all set to step into the ground spices business.
Sources at the company said although the pandemic has delayed commercial production, Bashundhara is now running production trials and its spices may hit the market by November or December.
Jasim Uddin, chief operating officer (Brand and Marketing) of Bashundhara, told The Business Standard (TBS) that the company's packaged powdered spices would be available in the market very soon.
Although Bashundhara will start its initial spice production with turmeric, chilli, cumin, and coriander, the conglomerate will soon bring all kinds of other conventional spices to market.
However, company officials are tightlipped about the subject right now.
"Because of our marketing policy, we do not want to give market competitors any idea about our capabilities in advance. We will give details about our capacity when we come to market," said Jasim Uddin.
Bashundhara now sells soybean oil, flour, semolina, and bread in the retail market. The company sells flour and semolina in bulk form and also has nine snack items such as vermicelli, noodles, pasta and puffed rice.
All these products are processed and manufactured by the Bashundhara Food and Beverage Industry Limited (BFBIL). The industry started in 2009 at Pangaon in Keraniganj and has steadily been introducing numerous food products over time.
The local spice retail market has ground and whole spices. Major companies are marketing packaged powdered spices with their own brand names. The companies sell various items including turmeric, chilli, cumin, coriander, mixed spices, chicken spices, beef spices, biryani spices, and halim mix.
Onion powder has been added to the list recently. This product is available in some supermarkets while some superstores sell spice pastes including onion, ginger, and garlic. Pasted spice sales are low, and prices are also quite high.
Apart from this, there are various traditional whole spices in the market. Onions, ginger, garlic, turmeric, chillies, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and many other spices have long been used in whole to prepare traditional Bengali dishes and most of these spices are imported.
According to the spice brands, the size of the Bangladeshi spice market – both brand and non-brand – is around Tk4,500-5,000 crore with a 2-3% growth per annum.
As more and more people opt for packaged branded spices, the companies have a substantial share of the overall spice market growth. Spice manufacturers and marketers said the market of packaged spices is growing at a rate of 10-15% every year.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director (Marketing) of Pran-RFL Group, said, "If a new company invests in the spice market, it also benefits old market players. New companies promote their ground and packaged products to carve out a market space, which at the end of the day is also helpful for all spice brands."
With a 70% market share, Radhuni, the Square Group's spice brand, has been dominating the spice market for a long time. Apart from Radhuni, BD Foods, ACI's Pure, and Pran's separate market share is less than 10%.
Lalmai Group's Arku and Fresh are also in the local spice business.
Haji Aminur Rashid Yasin, chairman of Lalmai Group, told TBS that more and more people are switching to packaged spices every year due to lifestyle changes. With this shift in lifestyle, the market for packaged brand spices is growing rapidly.