A new entrant to the Chinese sauce market, Sweet Mandarin, is launching three gluten-free varieties: Barbecue, Sweet Chilli and Sweet & Sour.
The company, set up by sisters Helen and Lisa Tse from the Manchester-based Sweet Mandarin Restaurant, reports it has also recorded a 300% increase in sales since securing a listing in the UK’s leading Chinese grocer, Wing Yip.
Open since 2004, the Sweet Mandarin Restaurant was awarded Best Local Chinese Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay’s F Word TV programme.
Helen and Lisa are the fourth generation of their family to make and sell food for a living and launched their sauce range in response to growing demand from diners looking to take home an authentic taste of Chinese home cooking from the restaurant.
Each sauce is hand mixed by chef Lisa Tse in the Sweet Mandarin kitchen and is said to tell part of the tale of the Tse family history.
Using recipes passed down through generations, Lisa adds a modern take on the authentic flavours and aromas found in China’s street markets – and used by her mother, grandmother and great grandmother – in every bottle.
The full range is gluten-free, offering a product that is suitable for coeliacs – a condition affecting one in every 100 people in the UK.
The new dipping sauces are:
- Barbecue – a thick, fruity sauce. Perfect as a dip with prawn crackers and other snacks or as a marinade for meats
- Sweet Chilli – fresh red chillies mixed with garlic and vinegar. Perfect for livening up stir-fries, noodles or salads or on the side, as a zingy dip
- Sweet & Sour – a classic Chinese sauce. Use as a dipping sauce with spring rolls and other appetisers or use with meat as a sauce
Estimated at £918m in 2011, sales in the UK table sauce market have risen by almost 16% since 2006.
Lisa Tse said: “Our consumer is predominantly aged 25-45 and time poor.
“When developing the range our focus was very much on offering a superior quality, versatile product that enables consumers to recreate truly authentic recipes at home either as a cooking sauce or as a dipping sauce for snacks.
“Initial feedback has been hugely positive and we look forward to continuing to grow our offer and securing Sweet Mandarin’s position as a brand leader.”