Essential products in Mauritian cuisine, spices, like other ingredients, have seen their prices rise recently. Cumin, mustard, cloves, saffron and cardamom are the most affected by this increase.
Consumers now have to pay more to buy spices. The increase varies from 5 to 20% on practically all spices, it is indicated in supermarkets. Nasser Boolaky, director of Zajabeel Co Ltd (the company markets Salsabil’s brand spices), attributes the increase to two factors: rising international prices and high freight costs. “The spices we buy directly from importers have increased by 50% or even up to 100% in some cases, such as anise or mustard. for example, we buy anise wholesale at Rs 85 per half-kilo currently against Rs 42 a few months ago. We had to pass some of the costs on to consumers,” he says, while pointing out that the company has simultaneously cut costs at various levels in order to amortize these expenses.
At Exquisite Spices Ltd (the company sells Steward’s Lazzat brand spices), we are experiencing the same situation. “The spices from India are much more expensive today. Added to that, freight has jumped from $900 before the pandemic to $5,000 now. We therefore had to increase our prices by 15 to 20%”, explains a representative of the company.
Nadeem Okeeb, Sales Supervisor at AAR Osman (the company markets Shan brand spices), however, points out that the increase – of around 5 to 8% on its products – is relatively “light” compared to the surge in prices. prices of other foodstuffs.
What about the sale? At Masters Express, we maintain that it remains stable. Nadeem Okeeb observes the same trend. “Spices are among the best-selling products in supermarkets and their prices remain affordable despite the recent increase,” adds Yusuf Sambon, director of the Lolo hypermarket. However, at Zajabeel Co Ltd and Exquisite Spices Ltd, there is a decline in sales compared to previous years. “Since soaring prices in general, Mauritians are more cautious when making their purchases,” we point out within these companies.
Recent price increases
|Spicy||In grains or powder||Price before the increase||Current price *|
|Small anise (50 g)||In grains||Rs20||Rs25|
|Cloves (25g)||In powder||Rs25||Rs30|
|Saffron (50g)||In powder||Rs 17.50||RS22|
|Elaiti (25g)||In grains||Rs55||RS65|
|Mustard (50g)||In grains||Rs30||Rs45|
|*Prices in shops|
Import for an amount of Rs 301.89 million in 7 months
It is in India that Mauritius sources the most spices. Anise, cumin, saffron, curry, pepper or even cinnamon are the most imported condiments. Annually, the import note amounts to more than Rs 300 million.
The evolution of imported volumes
The Top 10 countries where we source our spices
- South Africa
The Top 7 most imported spices in Mauritius
1. Anise, star anise, fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway seeds and juniper berries
2. Ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves, curry
and other spices
3. Pepper (various types)
4. Cinnamon and cinnamon blossoms
5. Nutmeg, mace (nutmeg flower) and cardamom
Source : Customs service reports.
Did you know?
This is the number of spice importers in Mauritius.
Some of the spices available on the market have been imported directly in sachets, boxes or jars, while others are washed, sorted, crushed and mixed in Mauritius before being put on sale.