Sauces Create an Opportunity to Expand Product Offerings

Savvy manufacturers are always looking for new ways to present a core product to consumers. One simple tactic? Completely reset the table with sauces.  Consider chicken wings. They are popular on their own, but they can be partnered with literally dozens of sauces (or soaked in marinades) to create exciting and delicious flavor combinations.

Sauces are where it’s at today. With more consumers cooking at home more often, sauces are a way to explore different flavors and cuisines and the numbers show just that. During 2020, U.S. retail sales for sauces shot up 23%, according to Mintel, and there was a 39% uptick in North American product launches that same year. The pandemic drove that boost, but those numbers have staying power.

Desirable taste is always the number one driver for any food or beverage purchase and ultimately increases the chance of repeat purchases. However, the following are other factors driving consumers purchasing decisions with sauces.

  • Indulge Me: Pleasurable escapism from the day-to-day focuses with unique or exotic flavors and flavor combinations.
  • Better For You: Same as above, but with a visible, viable healthy-eating twist. Flavors and ingredients that have overall functional health and wellness benefits.
  • Future Proof: Green, green, green. Sustainable ingredients, biodegradable packaging and anything else showing concern for the environment now and in the future.

Manufacturers can win by adhering to the above — in all three areas when possible — to deliver on the promise of a gourmet twist to a traditional favorite. Packaging sauces with a “goes great with” message is an effective tactic, as imagery and text promise an “international cuisine” experience.

Another trend to track? Consumers want spice, but that doesn’t always mean heat. Finding the balance between the two is seen as essential, as 73% of U.S. consumers prefer medium to mild, according to Sensient’s proprietary research. (That said, younger generations do love the heat. Having an option for them is an intelligent play.)

Lastly, keep in mind that plant-based protein options feed into all of the demands that consumers have: better for you, better for the environment and versatile enough to pair with many sauces. Once again, the barrier is options — 67% of survey respondents said they’d eat more plant-based products if there was a greater variety of flavor, according to Sensient’s proprietary research.

Ready to take a dip into what Sensient’s team can help you create with sauces? Let’s be taste buds! Contact us to find out more.