The manufacturers of culinary products (fermented sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressings and pickles) are repackaging their brands to appeal to younger and more sophisticated markets, according to new data from Euromonitor International.

Culinary products ditch their 'with chips' image

In volume terms, total sales for culinary products is forecasted to rise to 1,457,249 tonnes by 2004, an increase of 10.0% on the 1999 figure. The desire to purchase products to make an ethnic meal more authentic, or to enhance the appeal of traditional meals, is expected to contribute to volume growth. Amongst 18-35 year-olds in particular, the perception of some culinary goods brands will move from something kept at the back of the cupboard to being more of an essential grocery product.

Forecast retail volume sales of culinary products by country 1999-2004 - Tonnes
Country 1999 2004
Austria 39966 44928
Belgium 52436 55203
Denmark 27489 29074
Finland 35483 39251
France 149284 153744
Germany 317976 342145
Greece 9048 10750
Ireland 8480 9115
Italy 65220 75668
Netherlands 74334 77019
Norway 13577 14087
Portugal 23875 30335
Spain 114009 126694
Sweden 99788 101617
Switzerland 23309 24169
Turkey 63612 89682
UK 203230 229910
Other Western Europe 3440 3858
Total Western Europe 1324556 1457249

Versatile brands liven up dinnertime

Traditional culinary products and accompaniments to meals are increasingly facing a saturated market. As a result, many manufacturers have had to effectively reinvent their products. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce had faced relatively static sales. Repositioning of the product as a snack accompaniment or to spice up meals such as cheese on toast has again made the product fashionable.

Other 'trendy' culinary products include low fat/low calorie, additive-free and organic sauces and dressings. It is estimated that nearly half the UK market for such culinary products consists of low or reduced fat items, and organic dressings are particularly popular in both the UK and Germany. Manufacturers have also launched more premium culinary products, including "authentic" ethnic food brands to meet increasingly sophisticated and adventurous tastes.

French dip French fries into new mayonnaise

Many French consumers, experts at home-made dressings, are being tempted by new 'fresh' brands. Amora and Benedicta have successfully introduced a range of chilled mayonnaise products which have been bought by French customers who would not have previously eaten commercially produced mayonnaise.

Cyberspace sauces provide a taste of home

Some culinary products, such as the British brown sauce have nostalgic associations with a particular country. The Internet is an increasingly important tool in marketing and selling culinary brands to the "ex-pat" market. Key multinational companies, such as Heinz and Unilever are already reviewing and expanding their on-line marketing activity.