various dip sauces

Condiments get new life with global ingredients, flavor mashups

Finally, redemption for people who’ve mixed mustard and ketchup together — or created some other unique condiment by mixing two or more favorites. There’s a big surge in condiments that pull together differing flavors, textures and ingredients to make exciting new products.

A recent article in Food Business News dove into the trend, which it says rose from pandemic-era tinkering in the kitchen. Consumers who had always been interested in expanding their flavor palate took the time to try new tastes and now are looking for those specific ingredients on store shelves.

“Consumers used food as a way to travel and explore [during] COVID and now have found joy in cooking with these unique flavors at home,” says Jen Lyons, marketing manager, Sensient Flavors & Extracts. “Even though restaurants have opened back up, I believe consumers will continue to explore, whether at home in the kitchen or in a new neighborhood ethnic restaurant.”

“Dips and sauces provide a blank canvas for creating myriad flavors and ingredients that the consumer can use to turn simple into sensational — without loads of culinary skill,” added Holly Adrian, senior marketing manager at Sensient, in the article.

Sauces will likely lead the way. They allow for many flavor options at a time, and when they’re used with plant-based food options, consumers can stick to a “better for you” lifestyle without sacrificing taste. In fact, according to Sensient Primary Research, 67% of U.S. consumers say they would consume more plant-based products if there was a greater variety of flavors.

“Korean, Indian, Mexican, Peruvian and Ethiopian flavors are popular now,” says Erika James, senior applications technologist — savory, at Sensient, “Consumers are looking for bold flavors and are willing to push the envelope and explore new cuisines.”

Clean, simple ingredient profiles on the rise

In addition to their flavor punch, sauces also can extend into the wellness-purchaser’s sphere thanks to a low sugar, clean label profile, Lyons adds.

“As part of consumers’ desire for clean labels, extracts will continue to increase in popularity,” she predicts. “We will continue to see different varietals of chilies in demand. One we have seen grow in popularity is the Aji Amarillo pepper, often found in Peruvian cuisine.”

The health and wellness of the consumer and of the planet also are driving the demand for ingredient transparency, Adrian says, pointing out that “Consumers want to know where their product comes from and the provenance of its ingredients. Natural, organic and non-GMO are perceived as clean, healthier and environmentally sustainable. Studies say that, given the choice, consumers will opt for the brand that reflects their values, and they want to make a positive impact with their purchase.”

That’s good news for consumers who are eager to try even more flavor combinations that bring zest to their dining experience and support their lifestyle goals. We will continue to see fusions of different ethnic cuisines, like Mexican/Korean or Thai/Italian. As consumers continue to expand their palates for bold, more explorative flavors, the fusion of flavors will be a way to meet that demand, Lyons says.

Ready to see how Sensient’s flavors and extracts can elevate sauces, dips and other products? Contact us to learn more.