When it comes to spice grinders, consumers have two choices – electric and manual. Electric grinders are not normally associated specifically with spice, however, they are still sometimes used by consumers who already own grinders that are used for coffee and other non-spice products. Manual grinders are typically associated with salt, pepper and other course spices. They are commonly purchased and used, usually in individual bottles containing the specific type of spice.

How do these compare and will electric grinders ever offer an alternative to manual spice grinders that affects sales of the latter?

Electric vs Manual Spice Grinders

There are a few key differences between these two spice grinders. Application, cleaning and overall quality of the spice are the main considerations when comparing the two. Here are the differences worth noting.

Electric

Electric grinders come in the form of grinder attachments that fit onto blends or separate, small electric grinders. They are not commonly made for spice specifically. Most are made and used to grind coffee. The average consumer will not only use the grinder for coffee, however. They will also grind many other ingredients, including whole oats, rice, sugar, seeds, nuts, and even herbs. Although this makes electric grinders versatile if whole spices are also ground along with various other ingredients, this is not always ideal. Over time, electric grinders tend to develop a build-up of items that are ground. If coffee is ground most frequently, ground ingredients may begin to taste and smell like coffee over time. Grinder blades and the metal bowl need to be cleaned frequently and even if they are cleaned, this build-up can still occur. Another downside is the fact they require electricity to be used. With loadshedding still a major concern in South Africa, this can be frustrating if grinders cannot be used.

Manual

Not counting pestles and mortars, manual grinders come in the form of bottles – PET or glass – and grinder tops. These are sold in individual bottles and used in their bottles. Many can be used again with the help of refill sachets. They are still not mixed with other spices or ingredients. This means that the flavour and smell are not affected. Customers can grind pepper or salt, fill their grinders when the spice runs out and then expect a fresh, pure flavour and scent. Grinder bottles can be cleaned and used for other products (even non-spice items). Glass bottles will not be susceptible to build-up if cleaned properly. It is easy to clean and can be recycled frequently. The fact that manual grinders are small, compact and sold at market-related low prices in supermarkets and various other stores is another advantage. They can be kept on spice racks and used as needed, without any need for plug points or power.

In most cases, consumers will have both types of grinder. The demand for manual grinders will never go away, however. As more small-scale spice manufacturers emerge, there is a growing consumer need for good quality products.

Sourcing grinders and bottles from a trusted ISO certified supplier such as Global Grinder is the best way to ensure that your spice grinders remain a staple for your customers.

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