Assortment of sauces and dressings

Summertime and the Dressings (and Sauces) are Easy

Denis Storey
June 6, 2018

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The dressings and sauces market doesn’t get a lot of love. But it’s on the verge of breaking new ground as it muscles its way into the mainstream.

Sure, its summertime, the season made for fresh salads and sizzling steaks hot off the grill. And what would those be without some “cool ranch” dressing or sweet, Kansas City-style barbecue sauce? Of course, I might be biased about that last bit.

Demand for staples drives most trips to the grocery store or local farmers’ markets, while visits to the condiment aisle are often more spontaneous buys. 

So, it might come as a surprise that most analysts at Mordor Intelligence expect the global market for sauces and dressings to surpass $38.8 billion over the next five years. That would translate into a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 5%.

According to the market research firm, continued urban growth has helped drive increased interest in ethnic cuisine in the United States. Worldwide, overall economic growth has helped power demand as well, especially in Asia. 

This market falls into a handful of categories:

  • Cooking sauces: These make up the most substantial chunk of the business, whether they’re the marinara for your spaghetti or the oregano that gives it that distinct flavor.

  • Table sauces and dressings: This second-largest market segment includes those creamy salad dressings and thick barbecue sauces that are so popular at summer holiday cookouts.

  • Dips: Analysts expect some of the most significant growth potential in this category over the next half-decade. And with increasingly gluten-intolerant American consumers, dips such as hummus are expected to become even more popular.

  • Pastes and purees: What was once a market dominated by the ubiquitous tomato, other fruits, and vegetable combinations drive paste and puree demand.

  • Pickled products: While they’ve historically been a much smaller segment of the overall market, these increasingly popular sauces are also expected to see increased sales over the next few years.

Natural Preservative Breakthrough

Although natural ingredients have long dominated this market, it’s not immune to consumer demand for more organic offerings and fewer artificial ingredients.

Kemin Industries made the news just last month with the announcement that it’s rolling out NaturFORT RSGT, “a blend of rosemary, spearmint, and green tea extracts” to replace artificial preservatives while extending the shelf life of sauces and dressings.

The Des Moines, Iowa, based ingredient manufacturer claims the new blend will be able to replace ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid or EDTA.

As dressings and sauces continue to diversify, and as consumers keep clamoring for labels they can understand, there’s no doubt this race toward more natural ingredients will only accelerate.

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