Sri Lanka Spice Sector Calls for Quality Packing to Boost Sales!

Sri Lanka spice sector needs to recognize global market trends of easy identification and novel appearance in packaging which enhances brand value and creates additional sales to boost exports an official said in a media release.

“The key factor is how to market our spices,” Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive of Export Development Board (EDB) was quoted in a media release by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
“The first impression from packaging tells a lot to the consumer,”

He was addressing the first national packaging awareness seminar by EDB for Spices and Allied Product exporters of Sri Lanka yesterday (03 Sep).

The global packaging awareness session is an initiative by the government to move the spice exporters, especially cinnamon, away from exporting in bale form and switch to consumer friendly packaging material the release said.

“This packaging change not only assures quality but even build’s Sri Lanka’s image while giving more exports to us,” Sujatha Weerakoone, Director General of EDB said.

“Packaging should reach the consumer in its original condition and appeal.”

Sri Lanka’s total spice exports stood at 329 million dollars in 2013, rising by 40 percent from 2012’s 236 million dollars. Spice exports revenue of last year was up 100 percent from 115 million dollars in 2009.

Speaking at the forum a packaging consultant said that Sri Lankan export packaging sector is now maturing with more ‘high barrier package’ visibility.

“The packaging design sells the product. The packaging ‘barrier’ determines the performance of the product, which in turn, determines whether the consumer will re-purchase it or not and therefore it’s a key ingredient,” Abhaya Seneviratne, Packaging Consultant said.

“In that, the barrier level determines the performance.”

The ‘packaging barrier’ of a product is, to what extent the packaging material can keep the product inside from becoming spoilt by the environment.
For instance, a high barrier plastic film packaging can seal spices well from seeping moisture and water while same spices packaged by a gunny sack could be contaminated due to the weak nature (low barrier) of the sack, Seneviratne explained.

“The packaging barrier levels in Sri Lanka over the years saw great improvement and became more and more appropriate for special nature of each product,” Seneviratne said.

“High packaging barriers are needed for longer shelf life,”

“The positive trend for Sri Lanka is that correct packaging barrier type is now matched to the relevant product category-in that, the Lankan Packaging industry is now upgrading,”

“In general it is recommended that low shelf life needs medium barriers and high shelf life needs high-to-very high barrier packaging. I can see that our spice exports packaging is moving towards this trend.”