How Can the Food and Beverage Industry Capitalize on the Booming Condiment Sauce Market?

Food and Beverage, Lab Informatics

food and beverage industry
The food and beverage industry can develop exciting sauce formulations that build on current trends.
Image source: Flickr CC user Jennifer C.

Have you noticed anything different about the offerings at your favorite fast food restaurant recently? I’m not talking about healthier food items on the menu—although that is certainly a trend I’ve noticed as well. What I’m referring to is the wider selections of condiment sauces at several restaurant chains.

Gone are the days when our only options were ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. If a hot sauce or sweet and sour sauce was available, there was only one choice—hardly the picture of variety. These days, however, many restaurants offer a plethora of condiment sauces in highly customized flavor profiles. For example, California Tortilla offers 75 different hot sauces to its customers.1 This might seem excessive to people who dislike spicy foods but for those customers with adventurous palates, it appeals to their desires to sample new experiences. It also benefits the restaurant because the desire to experience new spicy flavors keeps people coming back for more. As someone who loves spicy foods, that’s something I would surely consider.

The trend to diversify condiments isn’t confined to the United States. The condiment sauce market is expected to reach $23.4 billion worldwide by 2020.2 Thanks to global urbanization, people’s lives have grown increasingly busy, which leads to their preferring foods that are fast and easy to obtain or prepare, whether in a restaurant or a kitchen. But with that speed, we often compromise on flavor, which as any accomplished cook can tell you, usually takes time and preparation.

The Food and Beverage Industry Can Use Condiment Sauces to Offer Customers Increased Control

The growing popularity of condiment sauces stems from their ability to give consumers control over their food. They can customize flavor in many areas. Consider a home kitchen: a family can have a simple baked chicken for dinner, but thanks to condiment sauces, each person has the opportunity to individualize their meal to suit their preferences in terms of spiciness, sweetness or sourness. Condiment sauces offer variety without the need to prepare a separate meal for each family member. As we can see, while the drive for more condiment sauces has been rapidly expanding in fast food chains, the food and beverage industry can transition this consumer expectation into the home.

The food and beverage industry can approach these new product formulations in many ways:

  • Quality ingredients: Today’s consumers want ingredients that are real and healthy. Companies can develop condiment sauces based on quality ingredients that they can use to attract buyers. Let’s look at organic blueberries as an example. Such an ingredient would appeal to both people who want all-natural foods as well as those interested in superfoods.
  • Premium mixtures: Some consumers want premium foods at mainstream prices. This can take the form of adding actual premium ingredients like balsamic vinegar to their sauces or by upscaling regular condiments. We’ve already seen the latter with mayonnaise in the form of aioli, which is essentially garlic mayonnaise.
  • Limited editions: The novelty of limited edition products has shown success in attracting consumers. Imagine combining this with unusual flavors such as wasabi or tequila.3 While a wasabi-based sauce may not sell well as a product staple available throughout the entire year, making it an item that buyers can obtain only during a limited time may win it novelty status.
  • Lifestyle products: People are always concerned about their health. This concern extends to the food they put in their bodies. The food and beverage industry would do well to develop formulations that are low in sugar, fat and salt. Not necessarily all at once, but creating health-friendly versions of their most popular sauces would definitely find a loyal buying demographic.

As consumer tastes change and evolve, so too will their preferences in condiment sauces. To keep up, the food and beverage industry will need to develop innovative formulations quickly and efficiently. The BIOVIA Formulation Development Solution for CPG offers firms a complete suite of tools that support the R&D of exciting condiment sauces that appeal to today’s consumers who desire the ability to mix and match flavors in their food. It boosts productivity by replacing outdated paper-based systems with digital ones. As a result, users can access and share background information, past and current experimental data and gain competitive insight from any location. The oft-unwieldy process of sourcing and tracking ingredients is significantly streamlined, which helps laboratories save money by cutting down on wasted materials and staying compliant through to linked safety information. The end result is that R&D laboratories become more efficient and thus, are able to develop new ideas and products better and faster. Contact us today to learn more.

  1. “The Sauce is the Boss,” August 2012, https://www.qsrmagazine.com/menu-innovations/sauce-boss
  2. “Condiment Sauces Market to US$23,395.7 Million by 2020 due to Rising Number of Fast Food Chains,” October 20, 2015, http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/10/20/777502/10153008/en/Condiment-Sauces-Market-to-Reach-US-23-395-7-Million-by-2020-due-to-Rising-Number-of-Fast-Food-Chains-Transparency-Market-Research.html
  3. “Condiments with a dash of innovation,” August 15, 2012, http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/News/News%20Home/Features/2012/8/Condiments%20with%20a%20dash%20of%20innovation.aspx?cck=1

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