- Experimenting with new flavors is a smart strategy for gaining more consumers.
- Condiments fortified with protein, vitamins, and other nutrients are gaining popularity.
As the sauce category continues to grow, staying on top of current and emerging trends is key to understanding how to attract and engage new consumers.
The global condiments market—which includes sauces, spreads, dips, and dressings, among others—is expected to reach $139.2 billion this year.1 By 2026, the market is forecast to reach $172.2 billion, with a CAGR of 4.28%.2
Condiments have a long tradition and broad appeal as a way to add delicious flavor to day-to-day foods, including main courses, side dishes, and snacks. This flavor focus makes it an exciting market, characterized by steady innovation and the migration of local and regional flavors to new parts of the world.
In this competitive space, brands need to have a good understanding of what flavors will most appeal to consumers and an awareness of differences in demographics. While innovation in this market is largely flavor-driven, health and nutrition are also emerging as strategies brands can use to attract new consumers.
In the U.S., over half of consumers will sometimes try new flavors of sauces and dips, while nearly a quarter will go out of their way to try new flavors.3 This shows that flavor trial is high in this category, which indicates new flavors can be a smart strategy for winning new U.S. consumers.
However, the flavors shouldn’t be wildly different from those to which consumers are accustomed; 41% of U.S. consumers say they’re more interested in trying new flavors that are similar to their favorites.4 One approach to address this preference is through flavors that are familiar to consumers but either new or underrepresented in the sauce aisle—for example, bourbon, Thai peanut, ginger sesame, and maple bacon. This encourages consumers to try a new product and experience some taste adventure while staying in familiar territory.
For a willingness to experiment with flavor, younger consumers take the lead. For example, a much higher percentage in the under-45 group are interested in trying flavors and ingredients such as peri peri, togarashi, gochujang, chimichurri, and za’atar in a dip or sauce than those in the 45+ group.5
Another way a product can stand out to consumers in a competitive space is through health and nutrition benefits. One emerging better-for-you strategy in the sauces category is fortification. The trend in protein across food and beverage makes protein fortification a top choice.
One product example in the market is Loyd Grossman Healthy Inspirations Wholegrain Bolognese Sauce (UK), which contains a front-of-package “source of protein and fibre” claim. This innovative sauce uses traditional tomato sauce ingredients but blends in quinoa and lentils for protein and fiber.
Besides a protein sauce, brands may also wish to explore the plus concept—i.e., a sauce with added vitamins and minerals or even a functional ingredient. Alver Protein Sauce Tomato with Golden Chlorella (UK) is a protein-plus sauce. The addition of chlorella boosts not only protein levels but also vitamin B, magnesium, and zinc, which are called out on the packaging.
Whether your next condiment will be innovating on flavor, nutrition, or both, Glanbia Nutritionals has a full portfolio of solutions for dressing, sauces, and spreads to meet your needs. Contact us to learn more about our nutritional and functional solutions to take your dressings, sauces, or spreads to the next level.
Enter your email on the next step to receive the articles as soon as they go live.