More sauce on the Australian table: trends

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 8th July 2010

Australia’s market for sauces, dressings and condiments is growing, with 2008 sales clocking $1.8 billion, say market research group Datamonitor, with growing health concerns, including childhood obesity, plus an increase in at-home consumption, boosting the trend.

The report, Sauces, Dressings and Condiments in Australia to 2013, found that the market for Wet cooking sauces and Seasonings, together, contributed more than half of total sales. In comparison, Table sauces, Dressings and Pickled products together contributed about one-third of the total market, while Condiments and Dips formed the remaining share.

The increasing waistline of Australians is forcing consumers to reexamine their daily dietary habits. According to the recent discussion paper by the Australian Government’s Preventative Health Taskforce, Australia: the Healthiest Country by 2020, obesity is one of the focal points in the government’s agenda to improve the average health of Australians.

This increased focus on obesity is also evident in the ‘Low Fat’ claim adorning so many new products in the Sauces, Dressings and Condiments category in Australia.

“Although the health trend is not new to the sauces category, an increased focus by the government will push manufacturers to address the health issue with greater liability,” says Niraj Lalka, Senior Consumers Analyst at Datamonitor.

Valued at more than $500 million in 2008, the Wet cooking sauce category is currently the largest sauce category in terms of annual sales. As an ingredient in daily cooking, wet cooking sauces are expected to attract a greater health focus.

Seasoning, which is the largest category in the sauces, dressings and condiments market, seems to have plateaued at the current market size of $518 million, and is expected to grow at a marginal annual growth rate of 1% over the next five years.

Ketchup and Barbecue sauce, which forms part of the Table sauce category, continued to be favored by Australian consumers. Likewise, Pickled Products are currently valued at A$166 million and is expected to exceed A$190 million by 2013.

An interesting health trend, evident in recent launches across the category, is the rise in gluten-free products, signifying demand from Australian consumers who either suffer from Coeliac Disease or have adopted a gluten-free diet.

“An important development being witnessed in Australia is the increase of at-home consumption, as consumers are forced to cut down their spending as a result of the economic downturn. While this may not spell good news for the food-service channel, increasing at-home consumption will surely help manufacturers in the Sauces and Condiments space. Hence, Australian manufacturers are launching a variety of products to help consumers create a genuine dining experience at home,” adds Niraj, based in India.

Growth in the total Sauces, Dressings and Condiments market is expected to come from the current renewed interest in healthier products, as well as growing consumer demand for premium products specifically catering to consumers’ desire to make traditional and authentic multi-cuisine food at home. In light of current indications, Datamonitor predicts the total Sauces, Dressings and Condiments market size to grow at an average annual rate of over 3% to reach the value of more than $2.1 billion by the year 2013.