Focus On Sauces & Condiments

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It’s been a punishing year for the big sauces and condiments brands, with five of the top 10 falling in value – despite overall category growth. Why are they struggling, asks Jon Severs

Heinz is probably rueing the day it decided to reformulate its HP Sauce, given all the hoo-ha over its decision to cut the sauce’s salt levels from 2.1g per 100g to 1.3g while, perversely, increasing its calories and carbohydrate levels.

But the incredulous ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ tenor of the national press coverage doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny against the brand’s sales figures. Like four other brands in the top 10, HP has experienced a dramatic reversal in fortunes – its sales sliding 3.2% in value and 6.1% in volume this year, having been in strong growth the year before.

Yet, paradoxically, the sauce and condiment categories have grown in value and volume, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data. So if the big brands are not driving growth, who is?

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