Sector Insight (interactive): table sauces

Nearly all consumers buy table sauces - and they want to try new flavours, writes Jane Bainbridge.


Popular. Almost all consumers keep a regular supply of table sauces on hand at home (95% penetration, or approximately 50m Britons).

Brands. There are several well-known brands in this sector - Heinz, Hellmann's and HP - and about 40% of shoppers think it is worth paying more for branded sauces.

Volume sales. Growth is a challenge in this mature sector; volume sales slipped 10% between 2007 and 2012, although value has grown (by 14% over the same period, to £1.1bn).

Cutting back on range. A quarter of shoppers have reduced the variety of sauces they buy to save money.

New flavours. Almost half of consumers like to try new flavours. Manufacturers have focused on this for NPD, often adding more exotic, foreign variants.

Favourites. Salad accompaniments and thick sauces dominate the market (together accounting for about 75% of value), although thin sauces have been boosted by a desire for hotter flavours and 'scratch cooking'.

Source: Mintel

UK retail sales of table sauces, by segment, by value, 2010-12 (£m)

Salad accompaniments = mayonnaise, salad cream and salad dressing
Table sauces = ketchup, brown sauce, barbecue and other thick sauces
Dish-specific sauces = mint sauce, horseradish, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, tartare sauce
Thin sauces = soy sauce, chilli sauce, Worcester sauce, pepper sauce and Tabasco sauce

Source: Mintel/based on SymphonyIRI Group InfoScan

Brand shares in value sales of table sauces*, 2012**

*excludes vinegar, mustard and salad dressing **MAT until September 2012

Source: Mintel/based on SymphonyIRI Group InfoScan


Jon Goldstone, vice-president, brand-building, food and ice cream, Unilever

Goldstone joined Unilever in September last year, having previously been group marketing director at Premier Foods. An experienced food marketer, he has also worked at Kraft, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo on the Walkers Snacks business.

Giles Jepson, chief marketing officer, Heinz

In May 2012, Jepson took over the CMO role at Heinz, having worked there since 2008. Prior to joining Heinz, he held a range of marketing roles at companies as diverse as Thomson Holidays, Colgate-Palmolive and Lindt & Sprungli, where he was marketing director.

Ian Deste, commercial director, grocery, and group sales director, Premier Foods

Deste joined Premier Foods in 2011 as group sales director, adding commercial director for grocery to his remit last November. Previously, he spent 20 years at Coca-Cola Enterprises, latterly as vice-president, sales and customer development.

Winners and losers in the table sauce sector

Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Remains the dominant brand, accounting for 22% of the market and £129m of sales (September 2012). Overall, 85% of the population uses ketchup. In March 2012, it launched a 'limited-edition' variant blended with Indian spices.

Hellmann's Mayonnaise. Unilever's mayonnaise brand is the second-biggest in the market. It boosted adspend in 2011, positioning it as a cooking ingredient as well as an accompaniment. It added new flavours in 2012.

Encona. The brand's value sales increased 17% in the year to September 2012 (albeit from a small base) as hotter sauces became more popular with consumers, especially the under-35s.

HP Sauce. This remains one of the leading brands, but value sales have slipped slightly to £45m (Sept 2012). Heinz has aimed to boost the brown sauce with its first TV ads for five years, with the 'HP sauce of manliness' campaign.

Source: Mintel

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