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From tangy Thai gourmet to traditional ketchup, premium was the key to the high number of table sauces launched worldwide in the second quarter of 2007, according to market research firm Mintel. Premium positionings are diverging into polar opposites of exotic and traditional, while maintaining claims of superior quality ingredients, distinctive recipes and expert processing methods. Manufacturers are providing vivid and elegant product descriptions. For example, one new premium soy sauce claimed to be made with more soybeans to achieve a richer, smoother and more complex taste. A number of products with unusual flavor combinations were also introduced.
Used more frequently by an increasing number of “foodies,” table sauces are an easy way for consumers of all skill levels to add sophisticated flavor and flair to dishes made at home. The recent resurgence of consumer interest in food and cooking has inspired an abundance of premium-positioned products, as consumers trade up to higher-quality foods. Economic prosperity has contributed to the growing perception of gourmet food as part of a fashionable lifestyle, and the popularity of food-related television, magazines, books and events exemplifies the trend.
Traditional and homemade claims are widespread, linking products to cooking expertise, heritage and authenticity. In today’s technology-driven world, consumers are feeling more nostalgic about traditional and homemade foods. New products have been promoted as traditional in terms of taste or processing method, including several that claimed to be handmade.
Mintel Global New Products Database notes a number of new products illustrating this trend. In Brazil, Jordely Comércio de Gêneros Alimentícios released Traditional Ketchup Sauce. In Mexico, Charbonneaux-Brabant released an Old-Fashioned Mustard. Also in Mexico, Michemaya launched a 100% homemade Michelada Concentrate of lemon juice and habanero pepper. In China, Xushi Soy Sauce is made using a process inherited from the Xu family 300 years ago.