Vanilla remains the second most expensive spice in the world – after saffron – because it is so labour intensive to cultivate and, with world stocks currently short, prices are rising.
Food grade vanilla is grown in very few countries, meaning its price is always susceptible to poor harvests.
“However, what we are now seeing is a natural market adjustment. Ten years ago, prices were at a historic high and countries such as Papa New Guinea moved into vanilla production and we benefited from lower prices in what was effectively an over-production situation,” explains Mark Catterall for Vanilla Works, part of the New By Mouth family, specialising in the full range of vanilla products for baking.
“Quite a few countries, such as Uganda and Papa New Guinea, have now switched instead to growing cocoa, where they can benefit from much greater returns and so we are now back to a world shortage-high price situation. We currently buy principally from Madagascar which we believe offers the best value today,” ends Mr Catterall.
New By Mouth offers competitively priced, consistently high quality vanilla beans, vanilla extracts, vanilla pastes and vanilla powders from Madagascar through its Vanilla Works division specialising in natural vanilla flavourings.