G.K. Nair

Kochi, Oct. 12

THE much-awaited launch of the Spices Board's `Flavourit' brand premium Indian spices in the US market will now be on October 17, The launch will be made at Freemont, San Francisco.

The Board's attempt to establish the Indian brand in the US follows recommendations made by a US consultant appointed for conducting a market study. "We are targeting initially the large number of high-income Indo-American families concentrated in various parts of California State, such as the Silicon Valley," Mr C.J. Jose, Chairman, Spices Board told Business Line.

The products slated for launch include four types of assorted spice boxes, each containing four different spices; 17 organic spices and spice products consisting of whole spices, ground spices and tamarind paste packed in pet jars; eight kinds of curry paste, curry masala and curry powder packed in bottles/tins; eight organic-spice flavoured organic tea bags (sting and tag); vanilla extract (SFE) in two different concentrations packed in 15 ml and 16 ml bottles; 250-g packs of AGEB cardamom; 250-g packs of black pepper both MG-1 and TGEB grades; gourmet quality vanilla beans in 100 g and 25 g packs.

In all 3,000 pieces have been shipped to San Francisco for the launch, said Mr S. Kannan, Director, Marketing.

The launch is organised through M/s Miracle Spices, Fremont, which has been appointed as marketing company for the Flavourit products in the US, he said.

The launch at Hotel Golden Peacock, Fremont, would be attended by the Joint-Secretary in the Union Ministry of Commerce, Mr Rahul Khullar; Chairman, Spices Board, Mr C.J. Jose; Chairman, STC, Dr Aravind Pandalai; and Managing Director, STCL, Mr K.C. Ponnana, he said.

Mr Jose said the Board had launched the Flavourit brand in March last through e-marketing of superior quality Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold (TGEB) black pepper and Alleppy Green Extra Bold (AGEB) cardamom and vanilla.

The Board would promote and offer guarantee for the brand, while the Spices Trading Corporation Limited (STCL) would market it, he said. The launch of Flavourit was an attempt to re-establish the identity of rich Indian spices and "get for our spice growers a fair share of the value realised in the spice trade", he said.

It would also provide a marketing channel for growers of cardamom, vanilla and pepper, especially the organic variety. The spices would be directly procured from farmers' groups.

Surpluses generated from the business would be ploughed back to promote demand for Indian spices worldwide.

Depending on the response, the Board would launch a publicity campaign in the US, financed by the Centre, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 13, 2005)
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