Latest research from MINTEL sees a major shake-up in Britain’s seasonings market. Today, salt sales are slowly grinding to a halt, while the pepper market is seriously hotting up and fresh herbs sales are blossoming. Over the past few years, the salt sector has really been feeling the pinch, with sales falling from £23 million in 2000 to an estimated £20 million this year – a decline of some 13%. Meanwhile, during this time sales of fresh herbs look set to more than double (124%) and pepper sales are expected to increase by as much as 55%. Dropping volume sales are mainly to blame, at an estimated 12% decline between 2003 and 2005, in light of healthy eating guidelines proposed by the government/FSA (Food Standards Agency). Table and cooking salt have been the main casualties, losing 15% and 17% of volume sales respectively over this two year period. Meanwhile, sea/rock salt and low sodium alternatives have increased, but between them they account for just 20% of the total salt market and so their success has done only little to halt the decline.

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