Unlocking the Profit Potential of the Caribbean - 2nd Edition

This report highlights the growing trends in food and drinks.

2nd Edition

5-6 September 2022 Speciality and Fine Food Fair Olympia, London absolutelycaribbean.com


From organic chocolate products to aged rum and hot pepper sauce, Caribbean producers have a lot to offer the food and drinks industry. In fact, there has been a growing trend for Caribbean inspired food and drinks over the past few years and in the UK, the category excluding rum and alcohol is worth circa £115m 1 . In this report, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) will offer readers a snapshot of the quality that can be found from authentic Caribbean producers of a range of organic, natural food and drink products including alcohol. The Agency will also highlight the huge potential for Caribbean products ahead of its first showcase of ‘ Absolutely Caribbean’ products at this year’s Speciality and Fine Food Fair. The Absolutely Caribbean pavilion is brought to you by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in cooperation with the European Union who are working together to build business, transform lives for a resilient Caribbean. Introduction


“We’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of Caribbean foods in the UK in recent years which is really exciting. The likes of Ainsley Harriott and Levi roots paving the way for Caribbean food, seeing staple Caribbean ingredients more widely available,

and also seeing our cookbook as best seller on numerous charts, and receiving TV & media recognition nationally. There is such a variety and so many flavours in Caribbean cooking which the British public are loving.” Craig & Shaun McAnuff, Original Flava

1 Based on IRI data and published company brand data, November 2021


To celebrate the array of quality, artisanal producers, the Agency will showcase Absolutely Caribbean products at the Speciality Fine Food Fair:

Unlocking the Profit Potential of the Caribbean.

Taking place on 5-6 September 2022, ten specially curated Caribbean producers will showcase their unique, indigenous, authentic Caribbean products. Take a journey through the islands of the Caribbean to discover a range of products from fiery hot pepper sauces, flavoursome natural and organic condiments to alcoholic beverages including Caribbean craft beer, rum and mamajuana! Also discover wild craft turmeric products, natural teas and fine flavour cocoa products.

Visit the Saint Lucia Distillers stand and win a trip to Saint Lucia!



Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic


St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Trinidad and Tobago


The Caribbean Market Overview - Growing Consumer Demand for Caribbean Foods

The Caribben Market Overview

Caribbean produce has huge potential across Europe, especially in the UK. The British love affair with Caribbean culture and flavours has driven huge growth for the region’s products in restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Over the past five years, the number of Caribbean restaurants in the UK has tripled and in the 12 months to August 2019 alone, the Caribbean restaurant count has grown by 144%2. When it comes to locations, London and Central England are the two areas that over-index in terms of Caribbean foods. Caribbean restaurant chain ‘Turtle Bay’ performance demonstrates the popularity of Caribbean cuisine in the UK. Now with 44 sites, the business had sales of £85.4m with EBITDA up £1.7m to £17.8m and 3 year sales like for like up 43.1% (Source: Turtle Bay, Yr. Ending 17th March 2022). Meanwhile, foodservice wholesale giant Bidfood also singled out Caribbean food as a top 10 cuisine trend, while retailer Tesco has highlighted Caribbean fare as an ‘emerging trend’.

1 / 3 UK consumers have tried Caribbean foods which is fifth in the international cuisine list behind Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Thai foods

46% UK consumers want to try Caribbean foods (Mintel 2022)

2 CG, August 2019


Brands Grace Foods supplies around one third of the category in the UK and the company, with global headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica, is one of the largest Caribbean enterprises worldwide. Following its success back in 2007 on TV show Dragon’s Den, the Levi Roots brand went on to be worth c.£35m just ten years later. New Caribbean brands are coming into the marketplace to meet this new demand from consumers keen to have an authentic Caribbean food experience.

“There is strong interest in authentic Caribbean food in the UK, not just from the ex-pat community but now also from those who have holidayed in the Caribbean and tasted the cuisine and want to enjoy those flavours at home. As people cannot currently travel so much or even eat out as easily, there is a great opportunity for flavours of the Caribbean. Things that work well are often ingredients that can be added to food we are already familiar with, for example a sauce or rub you add to chicken, or a seasoning to add to rice.” Food Industry Expert, Jane Milto


Categories and Producers

Rum and other alcoholic drinks

The Caribbean is famous for rum and many of the islands produce brands with distinct styles. From sophisticated sippers to rums that mix perfectly with cola, the spirit has wide appeal. The UK Rum market is the 3 rd biggest market globally and the top 10 Rum brands in the UK are all from the Caribbean, together selling over 305 thousand 9 Litre Cases in 2021, worth £335.5m in value sales 3 . In addition, the total spirit drinks as a category including rum are worth £5.697bn in the UK and grew by 7.4%. (Nielsen IQ Sept 2021). Of note is the growing trend for flavoured or spiced rum in the Off-Trade, which was up 9% in 2021 (Nielsen IQ MAT to 01/01/22). Beer Following in the Caribbean rum’s global success, Caribbean brewers are looking to take up some of the market share. Total UK beer sales were worth £5.691bn in 2021 up 6% (Nielsen IQ Sept 2021) and craft beers are worth £369.9m in the UK and growing strongly by 9.9% (Nielsen IQ to 29/01/22).

Caribbean soft drinks are also popular, with brands such as Old Jamaica Ginger Beer with a 35% volume share of world drinks in the UK (Nielsen IQ 2021) and brands such as Levi Roots Caribbean Crush popular in the convenience channel (a key selling channel for this product type) – up 21% YOY (Nielsen IQ MAT to Feb 22).

“Consumers are becoming more aware of the unparalleled diversity of styles and flavours of Caribbean rum, and they love what it has to offer. This is why rum is the fastest growing spirit in the European market. We are excited to see where the future of rum will take us!”

The top 10 rum brands in the UK are all from the Caribbean

Benjamin Boothe & Kristoffer von Stedingk, Rum Spirits Academy Europe

Total spirit drinks as a category including rum are worth £5.697B in the UK and grew by 7.4%.


3 Nielsen CGA, Latest MAT to 09/10/21

Producer Spotlight

Mamajuana: A traditional drink from the Dominican Republic. It is prepared through flavoring rum with a mixture of ingredients giving it a spiced twist. Cafe Rum: Blends roasted coffee beans from the high and beautiful mountains of the Dominican Republic, with sugar cane rum and a touch of local honey for subtle, natural sweetness. Guavaberry Rum: Delectably complex as its name suggests, throughout history, the guavaberry fruit, or arrayan, thrived in Hispaniola, where Eastern- Caribbean immigrants and sugar cane planters deemed it the perfect companion to rum.

Kalembu by J&J Spirits (Dominican Republic)


J&J Spirits was established by Jack Astacio in 2008 and the company produces a variety of liqueurs and spirits under private label brands. They also produce Mamajuana and were the first to export it to the USA and China. The company employs fair trade practices and uses only natural ingredients.

Chairman’s Reserve Spiced: 100% Natural spiced rum produced according to Saint Lucia finest tradition. Best selling product in the UK! Bounty Gold: Saint Lucia’s most popular rum! BOUNTY premium gold rum is famous for its wonderful light butterscotch aromas and candied fruit nose. Admiral Rodney Royal Oak: HMS Royal Oak is an award wining rum from Saint Lucia. Distilled exclusively in Coffey still, rum have been aged between 7 to 12 years in ex-bourbon casks before being blended and bottled in Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia Distillers (Saint Lucia)


St. Lucia Distillers is a boutique distillery situated in the Roseau Valley on the west coast of St. Lucia. Their premium rums, liqueurs and alcoholic beverages such as white rums, gold rums, rum creams, rum liqueurs, and other related products are a blend of column still rums from molasses predominantly from the Dominican Republic.

Formidable: A traditional India Pale Ale. It is a very complex beer, balancing malt, alcohol and citric hops wonderfully. The Naked Fisherman: A traditional dry hopped UK style India Pale Ale infused with a 2/3 proportion of fresh sour orange and 1/3 proportion of local rough lemon. Passion Fruit Ale: A wonderfully refreshing wheat beer brewed with a balanced proportion of passion fruit. This beer is brewed as a celebration of sun, sand and sea.

Antillia Brewing Company (Saint Lucia)


Established in 2015, Antillia is the only craft brewery in St. Lucia and acknowledged as brewer of some of the finest, (and most interesting) artisanal ales in the Caribbean. Antillia specializes in brewing with fresh, local ingredients, often with a significant link to the history and culture of the islands. All natural and free of chemicals, these beers truly are a taste of the islands.


Categories and Producers

Sauces and Condiments

Peppers, pickles, chillies and spices are popular the world over and the key markets of the UK, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands represent tremendous opportunities for sauces and condiments from the Caribbean. In the UK, total sauces and condiments including pickles are worth £1.09bn in the UK and although declining by -5.4% vs last year 4 sales are still up vs pre pandemic levels by 15.5% or an extra £146.9m.5 The category in the UK leans heavily towards the grocery retail sector and hot sauces, including chilli sauces, are the big winners. In the UK consumers purchase mainly via retailers and sauces and condiments have a population penetration of 98%

seeing consumers purchasing on average 15.7 times per year.6

“Caribbean sauces and condiments in particular have become really popular in the UK as they are bursting full of flavour and add extra excitement to dishes you usually make at home.” Craig & Shaun McAnuff, Original Flava The popularity of hot sauce continues to grow in the UK at a rate of 6% over the last 5 years.7

Total sauces and condiments including pickles are worth £1.09bn in the UK

98% of consumers purchase sauces and condiments 15.7 times per year.


4 Nielsen IQ, latest MAT to June 2022 5 vs MAT to June 2019 6 Kantar MAT to May 2019 7 IRI Feb 2022

Producer Spotlight

Turmeric Paste-Original: Our original recipe is a zesty mix of wildcrafted whole root turmeric, cold pressed coconut oil, fresh lime juice, and sea salt. Just add a spoonful to any recipe, it’s that easy! Turmeric Paste with Black Pepper: Truly Turmeric is delicious, healthy, and easy to use! We’ve added forest grown tellicherry black pepper to boost the bio-availability of the curcuminoids found in turmeric. Smooth and adds a great depth of flavour to any dish.


Naledo Belize Ltd.

Naledo Belize was founded in 2016 by Umeeda Switlo and produces the world’s first wildcrafted Turmeric Paste. Naledo produces a whole root Turmeric Paste in four sizes, and two flavours which are high value products in Belize. All their raw product is responsibly sourced from Toledo, Belize. The producer is focused on community and the environment. Naledo recently won the New Food Product of the Year Award for their Truly Turmeric paste with Black pepper at this years’ Food Matters Live.

Flauriel Mango Ketchup: A deliciously tropical blast. Fruity flavor and creamy texture that works well as a classic dipping sauce. Flauriel Vegan Salad Dressings: No dairy, no gluten and fresh ingredients. Available flavors: Ginger, avocado, guava, mango and sorrel.


Flauriel by Sugar Town Organics (St. Kitts and Nevis) Sugar Town Organics was established in 2004 and it is operated by a mother and daughter team. The duo wanted to craft edible goods, using Caribbean ingredients, particularly from their home of St. Kitts and Nevis. The company is built on a family legacy of healing through nature, utilising food to aid continued health and healing from diseases. The range today includes food products from jams, salad dressings, infused hot sauces, dips and fruit drinks.

Caribelle Foods Rum Flavoured Sauce: Imagine Caribbean Rum being used to fuel the heat of the Caribbean. This hot sauce has a unique, secret spice that is cured in the rum to give it a special flavour; heat and taste. Use on food, and in sauces such as bar-b-que and wings. Caribelle Foods Hot Ooh La La Sauce: This hot sauce is made from fresh pumpkin blended with hot scotch bonnet peppers and a touch of Moruga scorpion pepper. All the heat you desire. All the flavour you crave. We got it. Use in sandwich spreads and on food. Caribelle Foods Tamarind and Mango Dip: Blend of two of the most popular fruits in the Caribbean. Add fresh herbs and spices and you get a dip that is ideal for snacking with chips or on Indian delicacies. Great as a marinade on seafood before grilling or baking.

CariBelle by Caribbean Specialty Foods (Trinidad & Tobago) Caribbean Specialty Foods manufactures unique, natural, condiments particularly hot sauces and dips under the ‘Caribelle Foods’ brand name. All products are free from artificial colours, preservatives and flavours and are USFDA approved. They have been exported to the USA and across Caribbean. The hot sauce range includes Tamarind, Mango, Ooh la la (with Scorpion) and the signature Rum Flavoured Hot Sauce. The versatile dips include Tamarind and Mango, Lime and Mango and Tomato and Cilantro.


Fiery Pineapple: Fiery Pineapple - Fresh pineapples and smoked peppers, what more could you ask for? This sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy sauce pairs perfectly with white meats, cheeses, or straight on a spoon! Fyahpooch: A perfect blend of Cayenne,Carolina Reaper peppers (world’s hottest), and smoked West Indian Red Hot peppers, makes this sauce a must have for those searching for an extreme flavour kick! The Traditional: Traditional style Barbados pepper sauce accentuated with real wood smoked peppers. A perfect pairing for anything needing a smoky,

Old Duppy Barbados

spicy-mustard bite! oldduppy.com

Old Duppy is a small batch manufacturer of pepper sauces and specialty condiments in Barbados. Breaking free from tradition by basing the sauces on a variety of local produce, while enhancing them with real wood smoke to produce an experience like no other.

Ginger Sauce: Sharp and spicey are the words used to describe this master piece, made with freshly harvested ginger and papaya with a hint of mint to bring your cooking and finished foods to life. Creole Hot Sauce: A mixture of hot scotch bonnet pepper, shaddon beni and mints to accompany each other to give you a tangy taste that would open up your appetite. Guava Jelly: Our delicious guava jelly is made using freshly picked guava with the richest flavors that will arouse your taste buds.

Pringa’s Natural Flavour (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) Established June 12, 1997, Pringa’s Natural Flavour present a line of products consisting of pepper sauces, green seasonings, jellies and chips. The products are all natural, with no preservatives, using natural herbs, spices and the occasional fruits.


Chocolate and Natural Products

Categories and Producers

From chocolate to tea and gluten free flours, natural products are big business for the Caribbean, with potential for further growth in key export markets. Chocolate In the UK chocolate is a £4.5bn category 8, and plain / dark chocolate grew by 309% in the pandemic, impacted by perception of being a healthier product which boosts immunity 9. The production of cacao is globally concentrated in the regions between 10 degrees north and 10 degrees south of the equator, namely Central and South America, West Africa and the Caribbean. The Caribbean is held in high regard as a cacao-producing region because it yields a fine, aromatic bean. In fact, fine flavoured cacao accounts for only 5% of the world production. The popularity of dark chocolate throughout the world has surpassed just being a flavour of the month with rapid growth in demand for fine flavour cocoa, primarily used in the sought- after dark chocolate. Latin America and the Caribbean produce 80% of the world’s fine flavour cocoa and, with six of the recognised 17 countries in the world that produce and export the exotic product come from the Caribbean.

The total chocolate category is worth £4.5bn in the UK and continues to grow by 1% YOY10. Tea The UK is famous for its love of tea and the category is worth £562.7m11. Fruit and herbal teas are showing promising growth, up 10.5%, according to Kantar, with further success being driven by health and immunity interest during the pandemic. With 47% of UK consumers drinking herbal teas 12, there’s a wealth of opportunity for Caribbean producers. Gluten Free Flour The Free From market is growing across Europe as awareness of food intolerances rise. Not only do those with intolerance seek out alternative products but many are choosing Free From products as part of their lifestyle. The UK Free From market is worth £3.17bn. Ambient bakery products including flour grew by 9.6% adding nearly £19m in the MAT to April 2022 (Kantar). The Caribbean offers a range of gluten free flours using inputs such as breadfruit, cassava or sweet potato.

The total chocolate category is worth £4.5bn in the UK and continues to grow by 1% YOY.


8 Nielsen IQ June 2022 9 IRI data to 16-05-20 10 Nielsen IQ June 2022 11 Nielsen Sept 2021 12 UK Tea & Infusions Association, Qual Research, May 22

Producer Spotlight

Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder, 100% organic cocoa, for desserts and hot and cold drinks. Cocoa Beans: Cocoa beans coated with chocolate, they are roasted and peeled cocoa beans in an artisanal way, with a chocolate coating, they can be consumed as an anxiolytic, digestive and snack. Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter, 100% organic, for culinary and cosmetic use.


Chocolala SRL (Dominican Republic)

CHOCOLALA SRL is a women-led chocolate factory established in 1990 creating economic opportunities for women in the community of Las Lajas, Altamira, province of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. Adhering to the strictest quality standards Chocolala produce a range of totally natural, free of chemicals and additives that are harmful to health cocoa products. They are handmade and minimally processed including chocolate for hot and cold drinks, cocoa powder, white, dark and milk chocolate and tropical fruit wines.

Peppermint Tea: Locally grown and freshly reaped Jamaican peppermint makes this tea among the most popular, it offers a rich flavour unparalleled to any other. Scotch Bonnet Pepper Powder: The world famous, 100% natural Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper powder releases the rich flavour and aroma that is this unique to this freshly grown and sun ripened pepper. Breadfruit Flour: A Superfood known worldwide as one of the main attractions of authentic Jamaican Cuisines. Breadfruit serves as a healthier carb replacement that accompanies traditional spices, vegetables and meats.

Shavuot International Holdings Company Limited Shavuot International was established in 2014 and offers naturally grown produce including tea blends, natural skin and hair treatments and spices. Shavuot International uses all-natural, non-genetically modified ingredients in their products and employs the best farming and agro-processing practices, while being socially and environmentally responsible. The company also invests within their surrounding communities.



Absolutely Caribbean is brought to you by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in cooperation with the European Union who are working together to build business, transform lives for a resilient Caribbean.

Caribbean Export is the regional trade and investment promotion agency focused on building a resilient Caribbean by providing cutting-edge and high-impact support to the private sector. Through working closely with businesses to increase exports and attract investment, we contribute towards the creation of jobs, transformation of our economies and support the Caribbean to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.



This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Caribbean Export Development Agency and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

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