BRANDING AGRICULTURAL COMMODITY BASED INDUSTRY: THE CASE OF SPICE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN
Keywords:branding commodity-based industry, spice industry Pakistan
Spice industry in Pakistan is an agricultural commodity based, high demand, and growth-oriented sector. The sector has been split into packed cum branded and unpacked cum unbranded spices. The packed spices generally tend to be wholesome and processed in standardized fashion. On the other hand, the unpacked/open/loose spices generally tend to be unwholesome, sub-standardized, and adulterated that cause serious ailments and health hazards. This probe ascertains that how a conventional agricultural commodity-based industry can be turned into a branded industry? It examines industry profile, its branding moves, and the role of public and private sectors in branding and regulating such trade. This is a qualitative inquiry that rests on selected literature review and focus groups from consumers, field experts, and merchants for rich insights of the realm. The results indicate that the spice industry in Pakistan is a fast growing billion rupees industry. It is dominated by the unpacked/loose and unbranded spice sector that enjoys almost 58% market share and the branded spice sector has 42% share. There is a dearth of awareness about detrimental effects of adulterated or sub-standard spices, inflation and affordability by poor masses, and loopholes in the regulatory system cum criminal negligence by food inspection teams and relevant authorities. However, the branded spice sector is playing a positive role in supplying the hygienic and high quality packed spices plus recipe mixes to the market and consumers. Eventually, a proposal has been lodged for branding the spice industry and protecting it from culprit producers and looter merchants.
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