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According to Cooking Sauces & Food Seasonings 2012, a new report from market intelligence provider Key Note, the industry is doing well overall, especially considering the present economic conditions. The market is expected to have shown growth of 3.1% in 2011, estimated by Key Note to have been worth £700m. The products that fall into this category are in high demand, as the cooking sauces and food seasonings market responds to consumers' needs.
With today's hectic lifestyle, there is an increasing demand for convenient and easy meal-time solutions. Most cooking sauces only require heating and manufacturers have begun introducing pre-blended spice and seasonings mixes to facilitate consumers' cooking experiences. The simplicity of these products and the fact that different proteins and carbohydrates can be added to them, in addition to the vast diversity in the types of cooking sauces and food seasonings available, mean that consumers can create a different meal every night of the week. Not only is there much variety in the ethnic roots of cooking sauces and food seasonings, but also in their flavour intensity.
One of the most evident trends in the cooking sauces and food seasonings industry is the rise of hot flavours. There has been a surge in the demand for spicy sauces in the UK, as British palates become more acclimatised to them. However, because the products feed whole families, mild flavours, more suitable for children, continue to hold an important place in the market. Italian sauces were traditionally the most popular category and continue to dominate. However, consumer interest in Indian, Oriental and Mexican sauces is non-negligible.
In the face of the economic crisis, consumers are being forced to re-assess their expenditure and are cutting back on the number of times they are dining out. However, this does not necessarily mean that they have the time or desire to cook meals from scratch. Cooking sauces and food manufacturers have seized the occasion and have been introducing products that allow consumers to re-create the restaurant experience from the comfort of their home. Additionally, manufacturers have responded to the growth of singleton suppers by launching single-portion cooking sauces.
What limits the cooking sauces and food seasonings market from reaping the benefits of a high consumer demand is a saturated market and rising food and commodity prices. Not only are many products are on retail shelves very similar, but the growing introduction by supermarkets of their own cheaper, but similar or better quality versions, is creating staunch competition that is lowering value sales. In addition, pressure from supermarkets and fellow manufacturers mean that companies are being forced to absorb the rising production costs, which is lowering corporate profit.
Key Note expects cooking sauces and food seasonings to remain in high demand over the coming years. There will be a polarisation between hot and mild flavours in the market. The interest in spice will remain high, as consumers add ethnic sauces and seasonings to traditional recipes. Supermarkets will increasingly establish their presence and manufacturers will find new ways to make their products stand out on retail shelves, including through phone 'apps'. Key predicts the market will continue growing over the next 5 years at a stable pace, hitting £817m in 2016.
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