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Saucy sensations hit store shelves

With new flavors, influences and blends, condiments and sauces keep getting hotter — in every sense of the word

With hot sauce startups launching almost every day and condiment stalwarts rolling out exciting new blends, there’s a lot of excitement in the condiment and hot sauce aisle. And how consumers use these new sauces is also changing, according to market research firm Mintel.

“Sauce consumers don’t care whether a sauce is technically a cooking sauce or a condiment, and they choose to use anything at different times to dress up a dish,” wrote Melanie Zanoza Bartelme, global food analyst at Mintel, in a blog on the topic. For instance, while only one in five U.S. consumers buy flavored mayonnaise, a flavored option could be positioned as a dip for fries, a base for a sauce, a taco topping and more.

Meanwhile, Mintel predicts spice blends, sauces and condiments will introduce consumers to emerging international cuisines.

“Flavor is an ever-evolving art, ripe with opportunities for interpretation, innovation and creativity. Today, that opportunity lies in the expansion of international flavors and ingredients and in the years ahead, we predict the ingenuity of new dishes will come down to enhancing the chemistry of ingredients to create hearty masterpieces,” said Amanda Topper, associate director of foodservice research at Mintel.

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