Natural herbal teas are in high demand. (Photo: Caribbean Export Development Agency)

Caribbean producers: consumer demand for pure and simple products is only natural

Natural herbal teas are in high demand. (Photo: Caribbean Export Development Agency)

Editor’s Note: The following is a lightly edited blog post from FoodMatters.com highlighting two Caribbean participants — Caribbean Cure and Shavuot International at this year’s online staging of Food Matters Live.

Health-conscious consumers are driving the increasing demand for natural products and ingredients. Research shows that the global natural food and drinks market was valued at US$79.1 million in 2016 and is estimated to reach US$191.9 million by 2023 — a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 per cen. The term ‘natural’ has a range of connotations, but all of them are overwhelmingly positive and signify how invested consumers are in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In a 2018 global study, Ipsos asked consumers to interpret the term ‘natural’ and the three most common associations were:

• Healthy.
• No artificial ingredients.
• 100% from nature.

The public gravitates towards natural products because they believe these offer health benefits which cannot be replicated by man-made substances.

Back to nature

The Caribbean is a tropical haven for a range of plant-based ingredients, so it’s no wonder the region is seeing a surge in demand for its natural produce.

A picture of part of the Caribbean products on show at Food Matters Live
(Photo: Caribbean Export Development Agency)

This year, Food Matters Live will welcome Caribbean suppliers of natural goods including herbal teas by Caribbean Cure and Shavuot International; the world’s first turmeric paste from Belizean company Naledo and organic chocolate and cocoa based products by Cold Bush Organics from Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountains range, courtesy of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

These companies and more are actively taking advantage of the Caribbean’s indigenous bounty.

Caribbean Cure, based in Trinidad and Tobago, prides itself on “harnessing the power of nature” in its organic loose leaf teas and tea bags.

(File photo)

Utilising Caribbean herbs, roots, plants, and barks that are traditionally known for their unique healing and health properties, Caribbean Cure’s infusions are not only natural but delicious. They contain no preservatives, additives, or artificial flavourings and a special dehydration process ensures customers taste “the maximum amount of wellness in every drop”.

The award-winning company was founded by Stacy Seeterram and Sophia Stone.

“When we began handcrafting our blends, we had one simple mission – to share our passion and love for the age-old traditions and healing qualities of Caribbean herbs,” Sophia recalls. “We visited farmers, herbalists and tea lovers from across the region to find out what makes the perfect cup of natural tea. We were determined to create much more than tea with health benefits.”

Stacy adds: “The secret is in the process. The tea leaves are slow dried to maximise nutrient content. Each blend offers a delicate balance formulated to create a memorable and unique experience in every cup.”

Authentic and good for you

Shavuot International is a family-owned Caribbean company which has also tapped into the ever-increasing consumer appetite for all things natural.

(File photo)

Shavuot’s products include exotic tea blends, natural skin and hair treatments, breadfruit flour and powdered spices.

The Jamaican company’s teas rely on natural ingredients of the highest quality, handpicked and manufactured to preserve the rich nutrients in each blend.

Its loose tea is made from local leaves and seeds of the moringa plant, turmeric, cinnamon, cerasee, ginger and peppermint.

Shavuot, which means harvesting goodness, prides itself on using ethically and organically sourced ingredients produced through sustainable community development partnerships and with the support of local farmers.

The company currently exports its products to over 13 countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada and around the Caribbean.