Companies in this industry make spices, dry gravy mixes, seasoning mixes, salad dressings, sauces, and natural extracts. Major companies include US-based Kraft Heinz and McCormick, along with Ajinomoto and Kikkoman (both headquartered in Japan), Givaudan (Switzerland), Kerry Group (Ireland), and Unilever (dually headquartered in the Netherlands and the UK).
Demand is driven by consumer tastes and health considerations. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, effective marketing, and a strong sales force. Large companies have advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small operations can compete effectively by manufacturing exotic sauces, sourcing and selling rare herbs, or formulating custom spice blends, extracts, and mixes. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 75% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include mayonnaise, salad dressings, and sandwich spreads (about 30% of revenue); dry food mixes and seasonings (20%); natural extracts and liquid flavors (20%); non-tomato-based prepared sauces (15%); and spices including salt and pepper (15%).