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Sauces and dressing

Mayonnaise, ketchup and dressings dominate the sauce market

After a peak due to table sauce sales in 2003/2004, the growth of the worldwide sauce and condiment market has shown signs of settling down at a growth rate of between +1 and +3.4%. Annual rates of around +0.8 to +2.2% are expected between now and 2010. Table sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup, etc.), salad dressings, pickles and chutneys continue to take the lion's share of the market with nearly 75%. Variety sauces lead the remaining 25% of the market, ahead of mustards, vinegars and marinades.

In terms of regions, the United States dominates consumption. Australia, India, New Zealand, Poland and Russia, second largest European consumer of mayonnaise and ketchup after the United Kingdom, are all healthy markets and China is showing signs that it is beginning to appreciate the taste of Western sauces.

Health and authenticity come first

Hardly a single dish that does not have its own ready-made hot or cold sauce exists today. Innovation is the principal driver in this market to combat the rise of supermarket own-brands and promotional offers. BBQ, chicken, exotic, Italian and children's sauces are designed to stimulate and tease our taste buds.

Here as elsewhere, health is a priority. Low-sugar ketchups and cholesterol-free, low-fat Omega 3 enriched salad dressings are displayed in prominent positions on the shelves. In the mayonnaise and vinaigrette sector, natural and authentic flavours are driving this segment further up-market.

In the hot sauce sector, pour-on sauces are having the most impact. Greatly appreciated by consumers, they make it possible for today's busy cooks to reclaim the kitchen by helping them to prepare traditional and exotic dishes they would otherwise lack the time for. Finally, rice and pasta sauces have at last broken free of the tomato and are determined to win over new consumers.

A new lease of life for packaging

The major brands have all launched vast makeovers of their packaging. Plastic bottles are increasingly used for their hygienic, unbreakable and practical qualities, whilst glass jars and bottles are investing in elegant, high-class designs, spouts are drip-free, fun top-down formats delight children and doypacks® are breathing a new lease of life into hot sauce.

To satisfy the new packaging expectations of the sauce market, Sleever International has developed targeted solutions which combine shelf impact, sales promotions, consumer safety, easy opening, product protection, traceability and optimised manufacturing. These solutions have already won over household brand names such as Hellmann's, Heinz and Astra Calvé.

Sources Research&Markets, Unilever, HJ Heinz