State of the Union: Dressings, Dips, and Sauces


With cooler weather here, consumers look for packaged dressings, dips, and sauces as a convenient way of adding flavor to dishes for family gatherings. Having grown 28.4 percent between 2010 and 2015 alone, the global market for dressings, dips, and sauces is only projected to continue gaining momentum, increasing 2.3 percent annually from 2015 to 2020. Luckily, veggie trays, chips, and pastas have bountiful options to sit beside them at holiday tables and seasonal get-togethers!

Consumers are seeking food options that are healthy like, fresh, flavorful, and packed with nutrition. Fresh and flavorful go hand in hand, therefore dressings, dips, and sauces that are bold and robust (even spicy) will stand out on store shelves. Ethnic flavors, such as seasonings and spices from East Africa and the Middle East, are exciting to today’s consumers and can add full flavor without adding empty calories.

Americans are seeking out new flavors; whether eating at home or dining out, ninety percent of households regularly eat ethnic foods, with Italian, Mexican, and Chinese cuisines being favored.1 Flavor diversity, including popular ethnic flavors like Italian, Chinese, and Mexican, can be achieved by using a customized blend of seasonings or cheese flavors.

Think a taco-style hummus topped with pico de gallo. There is a demand for a fusion of spices, and bonus points are awarded when they come with inherent health benefits.

Protein is still highly desired by consumers, many of whom incorporate “20-30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal.”1 This is because studies show that diets higher in protein can help promote satiety, curb hunger, and preserve lean muscle for maintaining a healthy body mass. Protein-fortified dressings, dips, and sauces can provide indulgent tastes and textures that also help consumers achieve specific intake goals. Dairy products can play a significant role in adding protein on the nutritional panel of dressings, dips, and sauces, while also adding flavor, nutrition, and function.

For consumers wanting more protein, adding whey protein to a dressing provides nutrition and function. For example, a low-fat thousand island dressing made with whey proteins can still have a full, creamy mouthfeel with the added benefit of extra protein. Dips can be made with Greek yogurt and paired with a high-flavor, bold seasoning. Protein fortification and sodium reduction can be achieved, without compromising taste, through experts in this product category. 

An ingredient partner can address key attributes in dressings, dips, and sauces for food manufacturers; the right ingredient partner will work hard to find flavor solutions.  An appealing appearance, creaminess, and mouthfeel of dairy formulations with reduced-fat attributes can be done well by the right experts.

Savory dips today should be packed with flavor and full-bodied texture, as well as healthy fats and proteins. The work to find that perfect balance of fresh, flavorful, and nutritious requires ingredient partners that can provide customized options for the next tantalizing line of dressings, dips, and sauces.

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