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UK condiments market led by ketchup and brown sauce

Press Release   •   Feb 21, 2013 17:08 GMT

The UK condiments market recorded 1% volume growth and 5% value growth in 2012, with the introduction of innovative and convenient smaller formats for condiments driving value growth.

There are three important trends emerging in the market. The rise of single portions parallels the growing number of Brits eating on their own. In addition, the demand for Mexican-inspired food is rising at impressive speed. Finally, with consumers looking for an extra kick in their sauce, the demand and introduction of spicy sauces has significantly increased.

High demand, however, is hindered by augmenting food and commodity prices, as well as market saturation.

The growing number of supermarkets' own brands will gradually drive up the competitive pressure on condiment brands and manufacturers.

In 2012, classic table sauces such as ketchup and brown sauce experienced weaker value growth than previous years, mainly because of the declines in the shares of leading brands such as Heinz (HJ Heinz Co Ltd) and HP (HP Foods Holdings Ltd) as consumers switch to lower-cost private label products in response to the recession. This is limiting the categories' potential for value growth.

Soy based sauces and spicy chili/pepper sauces were the fastest growing categories in 2012, with value growth of 10% and 9% respectively. There have been a large number of new entrants and the development of different new flavours, with manufacturers capitalising on the success of Asian, Caribbean and other exotic cuisines.

One recent trend that occurred over the past five years involved restaurant chain brands Nando's (Nando's Group Holdings Ltd) and Pizza Express (PizzaExpress Plc) performing well in table sauces. These innovative products have been followed by the London-based American BBQ house Bodean's, which launched its BBQ sauces into the retail arena.

Looking ahead, the eventual economic recovery should help traditionally strong brands to recover their positions as consumers switch back from private label.

Nevertheless, it will be important for operators of brands such as HP or Heinz to reinvest in advertising and new product development, following the example of smaller and more dynamic brands.

For more information on the UK condiments market, see the latest research: UK Condiments Market

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