Export potential study on essential oils from South Africa

Globally Cool performed a market study, as part of a SECO/UNIDO project aiming to develop and enhance exports of the South African essential & vegetable oils.

The main challenges for the export growth of SMEs in the sector were identified, on top of extensive analysis to determine high potential products for exports. Concrete advice was given on market potential and product level. This led to a list of priority products (A-category, B-category, etc.) and the most promising export destinations for the South African SMEs, as well as recommendations to overcome the main sector's challenges for export growth.


Essential oils, vegetable oils, herbs




EU (general), South Africa

Type of activity

  • Consulting
  • Market Intelligence
  • Strategy Development


  • An export potential model developed and tailored to the South African essential oils sector.
  • In-depth desk research on the current status of the South Africa value chain, international trade flows and channels.
  • Extensive quantitative research on current export performance of essential & vegetable oils from South Africa and export potential assessment for upcoming years.
  • Several interviews performed with market/sector experts to validate findings of quantitative research, understand the sector's challenges and define existing activities in sector support for cooperation
  • A comprehensive report compiled with full analyses, main findings, conclusions and recommendations


  • Export potential determined (on product level) for essential & vegetable oils for South African SMEs, based on international demand and supply capability.
  • Potential export destinations prioritised for the upcoming four years.
  • Main bottlenecks and challenges for export growth identified and explained.
  • Concrete recommendations on how to overcome main challenges for export growth.