Volume sales within the US condiments packaging market fell by 1% in 2012, after experiencing growth in the past few years, to reach 6 billion units.
According to 'Sauces, Dressings and Condiments Packaging in the US,' glass bottles declined by 2% in 2012, as gains in spicy/chili peppers were unable to completely outweigh declines elsewhere. Some of the main brands within spicy/chili peppers, such as Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot, typically come in small glass bottles, and continually introduce new variations that help to stimulate packaging growth.
However, other areas, such as soy sauces, have started to see declines due to both a rise in foodservice use as well as concerns about the high sodium content of soy sauce by some consumers.
After the beginning of the recession in 2009, many people stopped dining out in order to save money, and condiments were able to benefit greatly from increased at-home meals.
With a steady recovery and declining unemployment, however, this advantage appears to have dwindled and, as such, the category has started to flatten out or even decline in some instances. In addition to this, many consumers are starting to demand authentic restaurant quality taste in their at-home cooking, which is not fully available in sauces, dressings and condiments, and has led some consumers to start making dishes from scratch.
The global recession impacted the number of product launches during the 2008-09 period, with new rollouts both in the US and Canada witnessing a decline of 26% in 2009 as compared to 2008. Shrinking number of new introductions during the recession years was quite obvious with manufacturers focusing on a full and complete recovery in the global economy.
Companies will likely continue to compete with each other through convenience and flavour innovation. Consumers, especially younger ones, are demanding that the home-cooked meals they prepare are easy to make and incredibly flavourful, and products such as Campbell's Skillet Sauces and Heinz Ketchup with balsamic vinegar are aimed at accomplishing just that.
The majority of future growth will likely stem from a steady return to foodservice instead of cooking at home, as incomes are expected to slowly rise. Many of the products within sauces, dressings and condiments are meant to be used as part of a complete home-cooked meal.
It is likely that only items like dips or other products that do not need to be used with a full meal will be able to resist some of this movement back to foodservice outlets and experience growth, but this will likely only slightly stem the packaging declines of the category as a whole.
For more information on the US condiments packaging market, see the latest research: Condiments Market Research
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