The lure of spices has attracted many "invaders" to India in the past and this trend seems to be continuing even to day though the intention is not to establish territorial predominance but for ensuring uninterrupted supply of raw materials to the processing industry in other countries. The latest to come to India is the US spice giant McCormick & Company entering the country through an economic "arrangement" with one of the local spice processors in deep south. How far this arrangement will work out depends on the market advantages gained by the local industry. This is not the first time McCormick is trying to enter India, though earlier attempt was given up because of the 'stifled' economic atmosphere prevailing in the country in nineteen eighties
"McCormick & Company, today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase a minority share in Eastern Condiments Private Limited, a leading spice and seasoning business based in Kerala, India. The completion of the agreement is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2010 subject to regulatory approval. Eastern is a leading brand of spices, seasonings and other related food products in India and the Middle East. McCormick has agreed to acquire a 26% minority position for approximately $35 million. The partnership is expected to lead to continued double-digit sales growth and further profitability for the Eastern brand. M.E. Meeran, Chairman of Eastern, stated, "We are pleased to partner with McCormick and expect to benefit from their expertise in global sourcing, manufacturing, product innovation and brand marketing. Their global presence will accelerate our efforts to bring authentic products to Indian consumers in international locations as well as introduce other consumers to Indian cuisine."
Eastern Condiments is a relatively small player in India in spice business but is growing fast with its presence established in the southern region of the country, within a relatively short time. It does not have any high tech processing facilities, being content with ground spices and their blends and their export business is confined to middle east where the clientele is mainly people from Kerala. Though the local company expects to make inroads into European and American markets through their association with the legendary McCormick name, it will be more rewarding if the American collaborator is to be persuaded to part with modern processing technologies for manufacturing high value added products from raw spices.