Complements to the chef
Two-thirds of people think cooking ethnic food at home is cheaper than getting a takeaway, according to a recent Mintel survey - good news for cooking sauces.
8 July 2009
Social entertaining occasions have grown by 14% over the last year, according to TNS Worldpanel data. In fact, an extra 178 million are now taking place. This is good news for cooking sauces which are perceived by many consumers as a convenient aid to making dishes of a high standard, while reformulated healthier recipes have also improved their health credentials.
Emmanuelle Bouvier, senior market analyst at Mintel said: “Stir-frys tend to be seen as healthy meal solutions that are also convenient, while cooking aids, such as pastes, give consumers the freedom to tailor their meals to their taste, which they cannot do with ready meals.”
The oriental food category is primarily comprised of Chinese and Thai cuisine products, while Indonesian cuisine is increasing in popularity. In the UK it is seeing 37% value growth versus a year ago. Overall the oriental food category, which consists of the four main segments of sauces, main meal noodles, snack noodles and rice, and ingredients, is currently growing at approx 8% year-on-year.
Research released by Blue Dragon, based on Nielsen statistics (Nielsen YE 18.04.09), shows this significant category growth is driven by two key factors. Firstly, consumers are travelling the world more widely and are therefore increasingly exposed to new cuisines and flavours that they seek to re-create in their own homes. Secondly, consumers’ desire for healthy, convenient meal options is on the increase.
Altogether the oriental sauce sector (comprising stir-fry sauces, cooking sauces, dipping sauces and bastes/curry pastes) is worth £90.4 million (€106 million) and is experiencing a healthy 5.1% year-on-year growth in sales.
Growth is currently occurring in all sub sectors of the oriental sauces market. Stir-fry sauce has attracted 300,211 extra purchasers in the past year, resulting in the stir-fry sauce category rising in value to £27.9 million (€32.7 million) with year-on-year growth of 2.9%. At present, purchasers of oriental sauces buy products an average of four times a year, which highlights the potential to increase frequency of purchase, generating increased profits for retailers and manufacturers alike.
Creating a stir
The oriental market is also one of the fastest growing areas within the Irish grocery industry and the Amoy brand is very much on trend, offering consumers healthy, tasty and convenient food through its range of stir fry sauces, soy sauces, ingredients and accompaniments.
Consumers are constantly looking for ways to experiment with different food types but in a way that does not demand too much of their free time, especially during the week. The Stir Fry Sensations range from Amoy offers an extensive range of varieties from traditional Aromatic Sweet and Sour through to Thai Green Curry, Roasted Peanut Satay and Szechwan Tomato. Each variety in this range enables consumers to create tasty meals in minutes but with the added benefit of feeling that they have been actively involved in the cooking process.
The Amoy Soy Sauce range also offers much by way of choice including Light, Dark and Reduced Salt varieties.
Pan oriental product specialist Blue Dragon is adding more vibrancy to its established oriental stir-fry portfolio. The revamp includes improved packaging design to increase taste appeal to engage new and existing consumers, as well as the addition of two new variants to the standard stir-fry sachet range; Blue Dragon Sweet Soy with Garlic & Ginger and Blue Dragon Thai Basil & Lemongrass. There are also two further additions to its premium stir fry sachet range: Blue Dragon Sweet & Sour with Coriander and Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli & Kaffir Lime, to reflect increasing consumer demand.
Caribbean food entrepreneur Levi Roots’ range of cooking sauces has three variants: Reggae Reggae, Caribbean Curry and Jamaican Brown Stew. Caribbean food has seen 52% value growth in the last five years in the UK, and over the past 12 months, Levi Roots has been a key contributor to the sales and awareness, with Reggae Reggae sauce now the second biggest-selling SKU in the hot and BBQ sauces category (Nielsen Value MAT 09/08/08). Levi Roots is set to capitalise on its strong position with the launch of its cooking sauces, driving incremental sales across the brand portfolio.
The original Reggae Reggae recipe is made with scotch bonnet chillies, allspice, tomatoes and onions, for thick texture and spicy flavour.