Cinnamon – C. verum

Cinnamon Investment Profile:

Harvested Marketable Products: Bark and Cinnamon Oil
Uses: Food, Perfumery Essential Oil
Common Name: Cinnamon (Canela)
Binomial Name: Cinnamomum verum
Investment Entry: Php 5,500.00/Tree with Minimum of 100 Trees
Annualized Returns: 19.00%+

Europe is a large and stable market for cinnamon exporters. The Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Poland can be considered the most promising European markets for cinnamon exporters from developing countries. They combine high import levels and a well-structured trade with well-developed spices and herbs markets. The European market is shaped by trends in sustainably sourced spices, and organic and fair trade certifications represent a specifically growing niche for cinnamon.

Cinnamon is the common name for the perennial plant Cinnamomum sp., a member of the Lauraceae family. There are hundreds of species within the Cinnamomum genus that are native to tropical and subtropical regions. The spice is harvested from the peels of the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree.

There are 2 main types of cinnamon traded in Europe: Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) and cassia (Cinnamomum cassia). Cassia is the sweetest of the 2. Ceylon cinnamon, often referred to as true cinnamon, has a milder flavour, is finer and has less coumarin (a moderately toxic, naturally occurring sweet-smelling compound) than cassia. Cassia, the bark of the evergreen cassia tree, is a spice similar to cinnamon but coarser and less fragrant. It is therefore considered to be of lower quality. In this study, cinnamon is used as a general term for both species. When a specific species is meant, it is referred to specifically as cassia or Ceylon cinnamon.

Cinnamon is cultivated extensively in China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the coastal regions of India and Vietnam. The statistical data in this document are based on Combined Nomenclature (CN) codes. The CN uses Harmonized System (HS) codes to classify products. The codes used in this study are listed below. While the first code (09061100) focuses exclusively on Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon), the second code (09061900) includes cassia. The cinnamon-tree flowers mentioned under this code are expected to play a very small role in trade. The third code (09062000), for crushed and ground cinnamon, includes both cassia and Ceylon cinnamon.

  • 09061100: Cinnamomum zeylanicum blume, neither crushed nor ground;
  • 09061900: Cinnamon and cinnamon-tree flowers (excluding Cinnamomum zeylanicum blume), neither crushed nor ground;
  • 09062000: Cinnamon and cinnamon-tree flowers, crushed or ground.

The trade data presented in the document combine whole and crushed/ground cinnamon, unless otherwise specified.

Cinnamon is a key ingredient in product formulation and innovation

Cinnamon is a traditional ingredient in several European dishes, pastries and beverages. It is also a key ingredient in new product launches and product development. Cinnamon can be found among other botanical extracts in many product launches of dairy products, baked goods or snacks, sauces and plant-based alternatives. Innovations in beverages have especially benefitted from cinnamon. Due to its cooling and spicy effect, cinnamon elevates the sensory experience. Austria Juice indicates that spicy and earthy flavours, like cinnamon, are increasingly finding their way into beverage development. There have been many product launches in recent years. For example, UK-based company Aimia Foods recently launched a cinnamon syrup that can be used in all types of drink preparations and which contains only natural ingredients.

The increasing demand for Asian food in Europe also influences the use of cinnamon in product development. Many Asian and South Asian recipes use cinnamon as an ingredient. For example, cinnamon is used to add a sweet and spicy taste to Indian curries. Large retailers sell curry paste (for example Geo Organics Curry paste Indian Madras at Ekoplaza in the Netherlands, several curry products at Kaufland in Germany), ready-to-eat curry dishes (for example Waitrose’s Fruity Chicken Curry in the UK) and other curry ingredients using cinnamon.

In another example, Ayurvedic tea blends like those offered by Yogi Tea are highly popular in Europe. Several of Yogi Tea’s blends have cinnamon as a key ingredient, including the Classic blend. Indian Chai/Masala Chai blends are also highly popular. In fact, the number of chai-based product launches has doubled in Europe. There are many popular brands available to consumers, ranging from mid-range to high-end products, like Pukka’s Original Chai and Clipper’s Classic Chai Tea. Chai is now also expanding into the ice cream sector.