Innovative flavours driving growth in table sauces

Sam Bidgood, Brand Manager at Grace Foods UK, talks table.

The category

The total chilli sauce category has grown over 4.5% in the last 2 years*1, as consumers become more adventurous, seeking out flavours that offer a point of difference versus traditional table sauces.

In turn, the trend for scratchcooking has brought about a new profit opportunity for retailers looking to maximise sales of sauces and dips during the key summer months.

Encona, the UK’s no.1 hot pepper sauce*2, is well placed to meet this need, with a range of sauces taking inspiration from across the globe.

The range offers home cooks versatility, with a number of uses including as a table sauce, dressing or dip, as well as a marinade or addition to a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.

Bestsellers from the range include West Indian Extra Hot Pepper Sauce, which has grown at over 40% in the last year (value growth)*3.

] Own-label has also seen growth, particularly when it comes to sauces, with own-label chilli sauce in growth at 34.1% YoY (value), equating to a 7.1% share of the market.*3 This growth is having a positive impact on the category, bringing new consumers to Chilli Sauce, and driving shopper attention towards leading brands they may not have tried previously.

Merchandising

We have seen an increase in space being given to seasonal events, with retailers recognising an opportunity to drive sales of sauces during key periods such as the barbecue season.

Off-shelf opportunities are especially important at this time of year for retailers to tap into impulse purchases, and dual-merchandising brands such as Encona next to meat or on branded merchandising units will help to drive seasonal sales.

We continue to educate consumers about Encona usage occasions by highlighting the versatility of our sauces and showing that our sauce can be used as a cooking ingredient or marinade, as well as a table sauce.

Innovation

In April, Encona announced the launch of a limited edition Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce; the hottest ever to be produced by a mainstream table sauce brand.

Available in 142ml glass bottle format (RRP £1.49 / case sizes of 6), the new sauce features the Carolina Reaper chilli – the world’s hottest chilli pepper – blended with tomatoes, garlic, cumin and orange to create a well-rounded, fiery and fruity flavour.

The impactful limited edition label and striking pack design creates standout on-shelf, with a bold heat warning daring consumers to take on the chilli challenge.

Encona’s Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce enables retailers to tap into consumer demand for sauces that are full of flavour and hotter than ever. There is a huge profit opportunity for retailers looking to develop their hot sauce offering, and the ‘get it while it’s here’ appeal of a limited edition sauce will only add to this.

The launch is being supported by digital and social activity, PR and instore POS. Grace Foods UK is urging retailers to stock up on this unique sauce to maximise sales during the summer months.

Encona is working to reduce sugar content across its range. “Consumers are increasingly looking for healthier options that deliver the flavour hit of their favourite foods, with fewer calories,” says Sam.

“With this in mind, we expect the demand for reduced sugar options will continue to grow, and we’re responding to this trend by reformulating our recipes across the Encona range.”

The reformulation will be rolled out in the coming months, with Encona Thai Sweet Chilli and Mild Thai Sweet Chilli variants being first to market, with a 15% reduction in sugar content.

Encona Jamaican Jerk BBQ Sauce, Texan Chilli BBQ Sauce and Indian Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce are expected to follow suit.

“Although we will be reducing the sugar content across our range, consumers can still expect all of the same authentic flavours from around the globe that they have come to love from Encona.”

*1: IRI UK Table Sauces (Chilli & BBQ), Unit Sales MAT 104 w/e 19th August 2017

*2: IRI UK Table Sauces (Chilli & BBQ), Major Mults, Value Sales MAT 52 w/e 19th August 2017

*3: IRI UK Table Sauces (Chilli & BBQ), Major Mults, Value Sales MAT 52 w/e 19th August 2017

GRACE FOODS UK

www.gracefoodsukgroup.com