According to a report by the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries, CBI, the main importer of dried peppers in Europe is Spain. However, new opportunities are emerging in less concentrated markets, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, and Poland. “Europe is the second-largest importer of dried chili peppers in the world - after Asia and ahead of the US–, accounting for 40% of all global imports,” the document details.
The sector is expected to have a sustained 5 to 6% annual growth, with special emphasis on dry moderately hot peppers, as European consumers are not big consumers of extremely hot peppers. In addition, the prices that high quality and sustainably produced chili peppers can achieve in the EU are better than in the Asian markets. In fact, in 2018 most Asian markets paid an average of 1.2 to 1.6 euro per kilo of that product while the average in Germany was 3.5 euro per kilo.
According to the CBI, 65% of the dried chili that Europe imports correspond to crushed and grounded formats; the remaining 35% is whole dried chili peppers. These shipments have grown by 6% in value and 5% in volume between 2014 and 2018, reaching 326 million euro and 144,000 tons in 2018.
The European chili pepper market
Spain is Europe's largest importer of dried chili peppers with purchases for 78 million euro in 2018, accounting for 24% of the total imports of the European block. Its purchases grew by 9% between 2014 and 2018.
According to the CBI, other relevant markets include the United Kingdom, which in 2018 imported 13,400 tons and reached a consumption level of 12,300 tons, and had an 8% annual growth between 2014 and 2018. It is followed by the Netherlands, where imports grew by 3% in volume and 7% in value in the previous four years. In 2018, this nation imported 10,300 tons of dried peppers.
Finally, France and Poland appear with significant potential as in 2018 they imported 19.3 million euro and 14.4 million euro of dried peppers, respectively.
The CBI highlights that even though Poland's largest suppliers of dried peppers are Spain and China, Peru -with a 24% share- is the provider that has grown the most in the last five years. "Polish imports from Peru grew from just 58 tons in 2014 to 1,300 tons in 2018," the report details.