Tomato sauces may have some ketching-up to do after new data suggested they are losing ground to brown sauce.

While tomato ketchup is still king of the condiments, with a 57% share of all thick and thin sauce sales, it dipped 2% in value between 2010 and 2011 to £166m, according to new data from retail analysts at Mintel.

Over the same period, sales of brown sauces – which make up 18% of the sauce market – rose a fruity 9% from £47m to £51m.

NPD played a major role in the recent success of brown sauce, said Mintel senior food analyst Amy Lloyd, who described it as the surprise star performer of the sauces market.

“New product development shows how brand extensions peripheral to a core brand can attract renewed interest and shift the focus away from relying on promotional activity as a means of engaging consumers,” she added.

However, consumers appear to have lost a little of their taste for barbecue and other thin sauces – including soy, Worcester sauce and chili sauce. Compared with a strong performance in 2010, driven by good summer weather and the World Cup, sales last year fell from £36m to £32m.

Total sales of thick and thin sauces fell by 1% between 2010 and 2011, dipping from £292m to £289m.