Classics never go out of style. This is especially true when it comes to tried and true creamy condiments such as salad dressings, dips, and cheese sauces. In fact, consumers are driving the condiment and sauce market to roughly $24 billion in sales. Compared to the previous five years, last year alone saw a 2 percent increase in growth in the condiments market. This craving for classic condiments is expected to continue, with a year-to-year annual 1.5 percent increase in projected purchases through 20211.
But even classics need an occasional upgrade. This is why, as the market changes, millennials are steering condiment sales in new directions. As their tastes become more adventurous, the focus has shifted to new and innovative flavors. The millennial focus on food health concerns also means a shift to uncompromised expectations when it comes to clean label standards.
The industry is already changing due to this trend. Working with ingredient developers, condiment makers are finding they can achieve clean-label authority while keeping the robust taste of their products. Rather than using artificial ingredients to modify color and flavor, which can easily turn off a millennial consumer, ingredient developers can customize a condiment formulation to meet organic, non-GMO or “free-from” specifications without flavor compromise. Consumers can enjoy rich taste and tantalizing visual appeal as they enhance their salads or nachos with the peace of mind of recognizable ingredients on the label.
However, ingredient developers are not limited to overcoming clean-label hurdles. They can also enhance flavor profiles with sophisticated and innovative formulations that meet the demanding taste test from millennial consumers. With dressings, expert formulators can transform a buttermilk ranch with an exotic wasabi twist, a burst of chipotle heat, or surprising notes of garlic, pesto, horseradish, or ginger. These flavor enhancements also expand the potential beyond garden variety salad recipes, offering new culinary applications for foodies.
Classic cheese sauces are also getting a makeover. With millennials traveling more globally, their taste for international flavors has increased. Their craving for exotic flavors can be satisfied with fiery ghost pepper and sriracha notes or the Mediterranean inspiration of a sun-dried tomato profile. Imagine all-American cheese fries dialed up naturally with a burst of garlic, bleu cheese, or zesty oregano notes.
When it’s time to give your classic condiment a fresh and modern kick, turn to an ingredient developer who can offer the expertise and experience for modifying or reinventing a condiment product. Look for an ingredient partner who has already created imaginative formulations that meet the flavor cravings for current trends and has a track record of creating clean label products as well.