Dressings and Sauces Industry Trends

Consumers Liven up Dishes with New Sauces and Marinades

Food Processing, May 2013

Barbecue sauces, cooking sauces and marinades offer culinary arts in a bottle, and appear to have a bright future. Mintel Group is forecasting three percent annual increases in dollar sales for a number of sauces between 2012 and 2017. Sauces provide a convenient way for restaurants and home cooks to add a variety of texture and flavor to meals. As culinary trends continue to evolve, consumers still desire more choices. The key takeaways from the article include:

  • Consumers want products that are lower in sugar, salt and fat and a clean label with a reasonable number of ingredients. They also desire ethnically-inspired taste experiences or bold flavors like all types of peppers and bacon.
  • Young people are more likely to be adventurous and food savvy. They don’t want to miss the latest food news and have great interest in the latest food trends.
  • There are a wide variety of ingredients available that allow food companies to make healthy version of sauces.
  • There is still high demand to stabilize low-fat dressings and sauces to mimic the full-fat versions. Removing fat often times makes the texture dense and heavy or the sauce can lose some of the body. Adding stabilizers such as gum arabic can help with emulsification to prevent separation.
  • Xanthan gum or carrageenan can help create a fatty texture and creamy mouthfeel. Pectin can help prevent dairy protein precipitation in low-pH environments.
  • Convenience and nutrition are important. However, sauces are used to make other foods enjoyable, so texture and flavor are key. The most successful food formulations have some element of authenticity such as ranch sauces that use authentic dairy flavor.
  • More restaurants are adding fresh ingredients to deliver fresh tasting sauces. Chefs should be cautious with using starches as they tend to mask flavors. A solution is to replace the stabilizer with a gum/starch blend to create the same texture effect.
  • Flavor enhancers can boost the other flavors in a sauce when making alternative versions of a sauce product. Additionally, these enhancers could be used to increase nutrition of the finished sauce. 

Why Hot Sauce is one of America’s Fastest Growing Industries

Mother Nature Network, April 18, 2013

As American consumers become more adventurous with their meals, hot sauce is making regular appearances at the dinner table more often. IBISWorld, an industry market research organization, recently compiled a list of 10 industries they expect to outpace the rest of the U.S. economy through 2017. Hot sauce was ranked no. 7. Some key takeaways from the article include:

  • Demand from supermarkets and grocery stores for hot sauce has reflected the change in consumer taste.
  • Food retailers are reserving more shelf space for ethnic cuisines.
  • Additionally, ethnic supermarkets are growing rapidly and offer a variety of hot sauces versus the traditional versions.
  • The industry has been growing for the past 10 years, with average annual revenue growth of 9.3 percent a year.
  • Demand for hot sauce has been driven by demographic consumption trends, immigration and international demand from Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan.
  • Over the next five years, IBISWorld estimates, industry revenue will grow at an average annual rate of 4.1 percent.
  • By 2017, hot sauce production in the U.S. is expected to be a $1.3 billion industry.