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Health properties of cinnamon drive demand

By Nicholas Robinson+

19-May-2014
Last updated on 19-May-2014 at 18:24 GMT

Cinnamon is being used for its perceived health benefits
Cinnamon is being used for its perceived health benefits

Increasing interest in cinnamon’s health properties has led to its use in more foods, but heavy rainfall in producer countries has affected supply, a leading ingredients company has warned.

Supply of cassia cinnamon has reduced, while price has increased by about 20% year-on-year, according to EHL Ingredients. The firm attributed the shortfall to heavy rainfall in Indonesia, which is a major producer.

UK food businesses had increased their use of cinnamon in products such as baked goods, pastries and confectionery, Laura Jones, global food science analyst at Mintel, told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

32% of new product launches in 2013

“Over the last five years, use of cinnamon in foods has grown and 32% of all new product launches with cinnamon in that period happened in 2013,” said Jones.

The perceived health benefits of cinnamon, such as suggestions it helped consumers manage their blood sugar levels, were also helping to drive demand among UK food businesses, including food manufacturers of foods for diabetes, she added.

Use of cinnamon in hot cereals, such as porridge, in cold cereals and ready meals was rising and adding pressure to the supply chain, she said.

Tasneem Backhouse, sales director at EHL, said it was working to ensure prices remained as stable as possible.

‘Stabilisation of prices’

“Predictions show that the wet weather in Indonesia is due to peter out in the next couple of months, which should ensure optimum conditions for the drying process and stabilisation of prices,” said Backhouse.

The heavy rainfall had an impact on the crucial drying stage of the harvesting process, leaving much of the raw cinnamon bark with over 35% moisture, which was unusually high, added Backhouse.

“The spike in prices can therefore be attributed to the extra work involved in drying cinnamon and a decrease in supply of suitable raw materials used to make the spice,” she said.

Meanwhile, Jones said the interest in cinnamon use in foods would continue to rise as more research was carried out into its potential health properties, despite there being no hard scientific evidence.

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