Growing consumer interest in world foods has had a significant impact on the sauces and condiments category during the past year, according to Encona, the UK’s number one hot pepper sauce brand*.
“Interest in new flavours and hotter variants is growing all the time,” says Encona Sauces’ Brand Manager Lisa Leung. “Consumers are expanding their taste horizons and being introduced to the hot sauces category as they seek exciting, spicy flavours. Many consumers are also travelling to more exotic destinations and looking to bring flavours to their own home.”
Encona’s range of 14 sauces provides retailers with the perfect solution to this trend. It comprises a diverse selection of flavours from around the world, from mild to extra hot, to cater to a broad spectrum of consumer tastes.
“With the continuing trend towards ‘scratch cooking’, Encona also offers versatility for home cooks,” says Leung. “Our sauces can be used for a wide range of cooking and eating occasions, whether as an added ingredient for cooking, a marinade for grilling or barbequing, as a table sauce or simply as a dressing or a dip.”
In order to make the most of the sauces category, retailers should ensure they stock both ‘hot’ and ‘mild’ flavour variants as consumers tend to buy into either one or the other.
“We expect consumer interest in hotter flavours will continue to grow, however the interest in ‘milder’ variants is also a continuing trend,” says Leung. “Our sales mirror this as value sales of our mildest sauce, Encona Sweet Mango Chilli Sauce (142ml) are +53% YOY, whilst our Extra Hot Pepper Sauce remains as our 3rd best-selling flavour with value sales +31% YOY.**
Demand for the Encona range is at a high thanks to the launch of Encona Sauces’ first ever national TV advertising and sponsorship programme in 2014.
With an investment of £1 million, the 7 month ‘hot or sweet?’ campaign reached approximately 20 million consumers. Featuring real fans of the brand, the advert aired on Channel 4, More 4 & Good Food Channel, sponsoring the very best food programming, such as Come Dine With Me, Jimmy and Jamie’s Friday Night Feast and Sunday Brunch.
“The campaign has driven awareness of the Encona range to an all-time high,” says Leung. “Coupled with the growing trend for exciting new flavours, we expect demand for the range to soar in 2015: retailers should stock up now to make the most of an exciting opportunity.”
* IRI UK Table Sauces (Chilli & BBQ) MAT 52 w/e 30th September 2014
** UK Afro Caribbean Food & Drink Category – Total Market, MAT 52 w/e 1st February