Home cooking boosts sales of sauces and marinades in US

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Sales of sauces and marinades are enjoying an upswing in the US as recession revives the trend for home cooking, according to latest research from Mintel (www.mintel.com).

It reveals the category gained 20% in US retail sales between 2005 and 2010 and is expected to increase by another 19% by 2015.

“With more people staying in and preparing meals at home, we are not surprised to see this category increase,” said David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel.

“However, this sector may see some challenges in the next few years with people starting to eat out more, higher ingredient prices deterring purchases, and easy-to-prepare convenience foods like frozen entrées and pre-seasoned meats increasing in the marketplace.”

The cooking sauces and marinades market is divided into five segments with dry sauces and other wet sauces being the largest with just over 26% market share each. Ethnic sauces, barbecue sauces and refrigerated/frozen sauces follow with 19%, 18%, and 10%, respectively.

It would appear that the majority of Americans like getting saucy. Eight three per cent of adults who cook/prepare meals at home say they use sauces/marinades or dry seasonings to prepare a meal at home. Store-bought marinades are most popular with nearly three-quarters (74%) of home cooks using them and just over half (51%) of cooks report using homemade sauces where they combine their own ingredients.

According to Browne, “one-in-four of those who cook at least half of their meals at home, and use store-bought sauces, feel that purity claims like natural, or no additives and preservatives, are important when shopping for sauces and marinades. Marketers are meeting this need by introducing new products using these claims, and/or reformulating existing products.”

In fact, according to Mintel GNPD, the aforementioned purity claims along with kosher held the top three ranking claims for cooking sauces and marinades during 2006-10.

Among home cooks, 52% are preparing more meals at home and 64% say they enjoy experimenting with new recipes.  Hence, marketers of cooking sauces and marinades can help them create new and novel fare for their families.