Spice, Sauce and Condiment Industry - Trends
Three current consumer trends in the sauce, spice, and condiment industry are (1) clean label, (2) ethnic/exotic flavors, and (3) hot/spicy flavors.
Current Consumer Trends — Sauce, Spice, & Condiment Industry
1. Clean Label
- Clean label describes products that don't contain artificial ingredients. The clean-label frenzy that has swept through the food and beverage industry is also very popular in the sauce, spice, and condiment industry.
- Clean label is a trend because it was expressly described as such by two or more reputable sources (Whole Foods Magazine and Food Business News).
- Clean label is really important for the sauce, spice, and condiment industry to get right considering that "75% of consumers will pay extra for clean label ingredients."
- Non-GMO products are a popular example of clean label products and are immensely popular in the sauce, spice, and condiment industry right now, as an industry executive said that non-GMO is what's being talked about by consumers and producers alike.
- The following two descriptions demonstrate the popularity of clean label in the sauce, spice, and condiment industry right now: (1) "Clean label is huge right now” and (2) "[c]lean label remains a dominant trend in the market."
B. How It's Affecting the Industry & Consumers
- This trend is affecting the industry because "there is an ongoing drive [for manufacturers] to reformulate sauce and condiment products with lower levels of salt, sugar and additives to ensure they are healthier without sacrificing flavor." However, manufacturers are facing the challenge of eliminating the unwanted/unhealthful ingredients, yet making the products still taste exceptional.
- Product developers also want manufacturers to make these products. Manufacturers are also working to expand their product portfolios to include product varieties featuring no sugar or no salt.
- This trend is affecting consumers because they are equally interested in products that not only exclude the undesired artificial/unhealthful ingredients, but they simultaneously want the products to contain healthful ingredients. The trend is also impacting consumers through the closer attention they are paying to reading product labels when shopping, thus making it all-the-more important for manufacturers to create these products.
- Rao's is a company that has embraced the clean label trend. The company states that its "sauces have no tomato blends, no paste, no water, no starch, no filler, no colors, no added sugar."
2. Exotic & Hybrid Flavors
- According to a 2019 article published by Whole Foods Magazine, "U.S. consumers are seeking sauces, spices, and condiments that are exotic, bold, and even surprising." There's a strong interest among consumers for fun, new flavors.
- This bold/unique/surprising trend generally takes the form of either ethnic flavors or hybrid flavors (or in some cases, both).
- This is a trend because it was expressly described as such by two or more reputable sources (Food Business News and Whole Foods Magazine).
- Nielsen describes the changing preferences of consumers from traditional condiments to bold/hybrid combinations as "the staple-swap out."
- Food Business News stated that "consumers are attracted to the boldness of flavor."
B. How It's Affecting the Industry & Consumers
- This trend is affecting the industry by increasing sales, as these unique products are popular among consumers. Additionally, the industry has had to respond to this trend by creating new products.
- This trend is affecting consumers through their strong interest in trying out flavors that are new to them. A survey found that "59% of consumers say they try new menu items to discover new flavors." Additionally, consumers have shown a strong interest in recreating exotic recipes that they tried when traveling or at a globally inspired restaurant.
- Heinz is an excellent example of a brand that has fully embraced the trend. Heinz created an entire condiment portfolio called Heinz Flavor Mashups, which includes the hybrid flavors Mayochup, Mayomust, Kranch, and Mayocue.
- Brands that have embraced both the exotic and hybrid trends all-in-one are Zeisner (curry-flavored ketchup), Miso Mayo (a variety of miso-flavored mayonnaise products), and Gulden's (sriracha mustard).
- Spicy sauces and condiments is a trend that's both literally and figuratively hot right now.
- A 2019 article published by the Wall Street Journal was titled: "Hot Trend: Spicy Sauces Are on Fire."
- Spicy is a trend because it was expressly described as such by two or more reputable sources (Wall Street Journal and Restaurant Business Online).
- American consumers are seeking products that are both spicy and packed with flavor. Factors that are driving the spicy sauce and condiment trend are "growing immigrant populations, thrill-seeking food shows, pop culture references and diners’ increasing familiarity with global cuisines."
- This trend is affecting consumers in that their preferences are skewing to the spicy side of the heat spectrum. The Flavor Consumer Trend Report published by Technomic found that among those surveyed, half said they "prefer very spicy sauces." Furthermore, really spicy sauces are preferred by an even higher percentage of men (58%) and millennials (59%).
- Rajin Cajun is a company that has embraced this trend, with its Spicy Sweet Jalapeno Relish as an example.
- Red Gold is a company that has embraced this trend, with its Jalepeno Tomato Ketchup.
We identified the above trends by conducting wide-ranging searches for articles about this topic. Examples of sources we reviewed included Restaurant Business Online, Food Insider Journal, and the Wall Street Journal, among many others. We ensured a U.S. focus to our research by only referencing information specific to the U.S. market and/or information published by U.S.-based sources. We ensured that each trend we included is indeed a trend by finding it expressly described as such by at least two reputable sources.