Pandemic Impacts Spice Trade

The spice trade is a global venture, so spice and seasoning companies are seeing supply chain disruptions at ports around the world, according to John Brewer who leads marketing and sales at Excalibur Seasoning.

Excalibur is a Midwest-based spice company with a focus in the meat and seafood space. Brewer says the business is facing labor challenges and supply chain issues as they work to meet demand during their busiest time of year — hunting season.

Hunting and grilling season is the Excalibur’s prime times of the year. Its primary customers include meat processors and grocery store meat and seafood counters. When their customers face supply chain disruption, so do they. When meat processors saw COVID-19 outbreaks, backlogs or even when JBS had a fire, Excalibur saw market impact, Brewer says. 

Excalibur has also seen an indirect increase in business through folks who have tried new hobbies in the kitchen. Brewer says during the pandemic, people started to cook either with a new cut of meat or piece of seafood that they normally wouldn’t have tried. As people stalked up on those meat and seafood items, the spice company also saw a boost.

Brewer says Excalibur Seasoning is seeing sharp increases in the price of black pepper right now due to high demand. The company has had to make sure it has a back up to the back up in case of cost increases, shipment delays and crop yields.