Spices and herbs market has been becoming more relevant recently. Increasing climate variability and change leads to different difficulties in farming what can strongly affect prices and availability. Sometimes growing some kind of spices in the European Union is not rewarding or just impossible because of the weather conditions. Moreover, the expectations of modern consumers have changed lately – they expect high-quality food, which is not only palatable but also (and primarily) healthy. Besides, people more and more want to try something original to eat or to find new flavors out. This perspective is sympathetic for Indian herbs producers, who can commend their ultimate seasoning loved by thousand inhabitants in Europe. The crucial thing for hanging the shingle out is finding spices importers in the European Union. Let’s check how to improve the expansion of herbs in UE markets in a few steps out.
1. The main herbs and spices importers in the UE
In the light of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) data, the herbs and spices market in the European Union is still growing. In 2016 the import value of spices amounts to 638452 USD in comparison to the 2015 year which totaled 580896 USD. We can also distinguish five of the largest importers of spices in 2016. In the cream of the crop, there is Germany, thereon Spain, United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands. It could be useful information if you are wondering on which countries you want to concentrate on. Maybe they constitute your potential overseas buyer’s list?
2. The most popular Indian spices imported by Europe
As we noticed, Indian seasoning is strongly appreciated in EU countries. Europeans like meals full of flavors and what can be better than natural food additive which intensifies the taste of the dish? Here are the most bestselling Indian spices, which win over hearts of Europeans:
- masala (mainly curry and garam masala)
If we know where Indian herbs are imported in a large scale, and what name of spice is top-selling in UE market, the time is ripe to answer the question we put before: how to find buyers on the European spices and herbs market?
3. It is you who choose herb buyers
First of all, you should decide with whom you want to cooperate. In B2B spice trade, you can choose importers of raw herbs, partners who handle prepacked seasoning or straightaway look for retailers. Of course, pick the proper place in Europe, where your products have a chance to be sold like hot cakes. Everything depends on the kind of spices you are trading in – it can be little-known herbs targeting the niche market or you can deal in popular products mainly dedicated to the average consumer.
It is important to conduct market research, which let you choose the best spice importers in Europe. Surely, one of the cheapest and the fastest way is checking the potential herb buyers websites out. There are many of websites representing diverse sector associations, where we are able to look member lists up and find there almost all information about the company, including contact details and address, so in case of some doubts, you can always get in touch with your prospective partner.
4. Show your best side
Finding potential importers of Indian spices isn’t enough to drum your business up. Keep in mind these companies do not know you, so it is necessary to convince them to start cooperation with you. There are some ways which help you out:
4.1 Take advantage of internet opportunity to encourage spice importers
Undoubtedly, you need to take care of your website and treat it as your showcase. Indian spices market is a very wide range of products – the majority of Europeans isn’t even aware of the volume of local herbs. Make sure that your website is comprehensively written and users can find information about all proposed herbs. You should seem to be a reliable partner, so don’t forget to place only true details about your company on your website.
Another popular way of promoting your business is using different kinds of social media e.g. Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. Try to make contact with a wide range of users and stay active – add suitable comments, photos and respond to your followers’ posts.
4.2 Herb buyers are waiting for your email!
Direct marketing – one of the most popular forms of advertising nowadays. It can be an effective way of winning new spice traders over to you. Sending promotional emails is one of the direct marketing channels, where you are able to introduce your company, products, and ideas or even put an informal cooperation proposal. Your email content should be professional and contain only essential information.
Pay attention to the frequency of messages and try to avoid mass mailing. It may cause the wrong reaction and change into annoying junk mails.
4.3 Conferences and trade fairs – meet spice importers personally
There are lots of occasions to meet importers of Indian spices. For example, you can take part in the international trade fair, where you might exhibit your goods, discern competitors and find potential partners. Don’t forget to prepare yourself before the conference – inform about your appearance, make business cards and leaflets and try to find some details about other exhibitors.
If you are wondering where this kind of events is held, you should be up to date with the main websites of trade fairs below:
- Food Ingredients Europe – international meeting place where you can find the biggest food suppliers, producers, and marketing specialists. The event aims at creating and implement innovative ingredients and services.
- Angua – the largest trade fair in the world with around 165,000 visitors. It is organized in Germany and offers ten trade shows, where the most important food trends are performed.
- Salon International de Alimentación – another large food innovation exhibition placed in France. Surely, during the conference, you will meet the best food specialists and innovation experts, with whom you can network.
Of course, trade fairs are not the only way to make contact with prospective partners. You may focus on smaller events, which are held in more local character or communicate with different spice organizations e.g. European Spice Association. The list of members is placed on the website, where you can find necessary details about individual spices importer and contact with that chosen company.
4.4 Prove the quality and safety of spices and herbs
Spices and herbs come from India – in the light of the European Union law, it means that products from this part of the world are encompassed within the specific regulations relating to food trading with third-country. Remember – safety first! You have to prove your goods meet standards and are not harmful to people’s life and health. They should comply with HACCP, GMP and GHP terms because every European food producer is obliged to follow special procedures of these certifications before food would go on sale.
Additionally, there are more international food safety standards. Let’s look at Codex Alimentarius which was made by the WHO and FAO organizations. It contains principles of food quality and safety but isn’t mandatory for any country. However, UE decided to implement presented standards so acting on these rules might give you a better chance to find honest importers of Indian spices.
Another useful and facultative certificate is non-gmo proof. European consumer is uncertain about GMO products and expects natural and fancy food. Indian herbs from the organic crop are perfect option to satisfy customers, so hardening the fact that products are GMO-free can be attractive to future importers of spices.
5. Spice traders for the asking
As you can see, finding importers of spices isn’t so difficult thing to do as it seemed to be. You should find out details about your potential partners and use different marketing tools to make contact with them. When you start cooperation, it is important to take care of relations with herb buyers. Stay up-to-date with all emails, payments, and supplies, because the only professional approach to the matter gives you a wide range of patrons. Consequently, it contributes to your success and lets you confess the recipe on how to start the spices business in India in a profitable way.
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