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Younger consumers are less engaged in the spice category, Mintel says

Sales of spices grew in the first year of the CODID-19 pandemic, growing 21.3% in 2020 compared to 2019. The category managed to maintain most of this growth, falling 1% in 2021 compared to its sales up from 2020. And while early sales data for 2022 shows that consumers are still interested in adding to their home spice collections, brands need to do more to engage a younger and more diverse audience. write​ William Roberts Jr., Mintel Senior Food and Beverage Analyst.

U.S. spice retail sales are expected to grow 2-3% annually over the next 1-2 years to $10 billion by 2023, according to Mintel.

“Dynamic sales patterns (with stunning gains followed by less dramatic declines) indicate that frequency has increased and, for many brands and segments, has persisted as home dining remains somewhat elevated for at least the short term.”Roberts said.

“2022 is a good time for spice brands to lay the groundwork to further expand their pandemic gains while addressing future market challenges.”

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Older consumers are “more likely to consume peripheral spice segments.”

Despite the global and cultural diversity hitting the condiment set, including Filipino-American sauces, marinades and jams, kimchi mayonnaise and curry ketchup, targeting younger consumers is still a largely missed opportunity, noted Roberts.

“Younger consumers under 45 need attention; are less engaged than their older counterparts,”he said.

According to Mintel, consumers over the age of 45 have six or more spices in their pantry, while consumers under the age of 45 are more likely to have fewer than six types of products.