Table sauces GettyImages-1133301798

It’s white, gloopy and equally at home with tinned tuna or chips. It’s mayonnaise, and Brits love it. They’ve spent an extra £11.5m on mayo across Hellmann’s and Heinz lines – all of which either kept volume losses to a minimum or shifted more packs.

That’s some achievement given overall volumes of table sauce have fallen 7.8%, and brands have slumped even faster – by 9.6%.

“Mayonnaise continues to be the key growth area in table sauce,” notes Stephen Bough, grocery analytics team leader at NielsenIQ. “This growth is across the whole spectrum.” He points to regular, light and lighter variants and even divisive ones such Heinz’s ketchup/mayo hybrid Saucy Sauce and Hellmann’s gravy-flavoured mayonnaise.

Flavoured options are the future of mayo, believes Hellmann’s owner Unilever. “During lockdowns, we saw flavour boom in the kitchen as many sought out excitement within everyday meals to break monotony,” says Georgina Bradford, marketing director for nutrition. “While we have seen core ranges make a resurgence in recent months, there is no denying that flavour is here to stay, with this now making up 15% of the mayo share versus 11% pre-lockdown.”

It’s a trend that explains Hellmann’s gravy option, which made its debut in March alongside Coronation and Chilli Charger mayos. It also helps explain another year of success for Nando’s. The brand kept volumes in the black while adding £1.6m thanks to lines such as its zingy Perinaise.

Sadly, that taste for a spicy kick hasn’t benefited mustards, in which all big brands are in value and volume decline. But it puts avocado-based hot sauce Kumana in a strong position, insists owner Kraft Heinz. “Hot sauce has been one of the highest-growing categories in sauces for a few years,” the supplier says. Plus, the brand’s Venezuelan influences enhance its appeal – because “67% of consumers see world cuisines products as a way to travel through food”.

That’s been good news for Geeta’s, whose Indian-style chutneys “continue to outperform the category” says director of marketing Eleanor Bridgman. Hot stuff!

Top Launch 2022

Belazu Sour Cherry Molasses | WJFG

Belazu Ingredient Company Sour Cherry Molasses

Sour cherry is a flavour popular in Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines. But it’s been an untapped choice for molasses – until now. This innovative condiment from Belazu (rsp: £4.99/250ml) uses two dark red cherry varieties from Turkey – kutahya and katirli – for both sweetness and tartness. Unveiled in June, its flavour profile makes it the ideal addition to a wide variety of dishes – both savoury and sweet. Little wonder it easily won the condiments category of The Grocer New Product Awards 2022.

The Grocer Top Products Survey 2022: How can brands stay in focus?