Ketchup, sauces, and mayonnaise ride the health wave in India

Sandeep Singh, executive director, Radiant Indus Chem
Sandeep Singh, executive director, Radiant Indus ChemPhoto - Radiant Indus Chem

Ketchup, sauces, and mayonnaise are staples that are found in almost all households in India. The rise in urbanization and globalization are driving consumers to try out new variants of these crowd favorites. These snack-time accompaniments offer convenience and taste, both of which drive consumers to buy them regularly. Consumers are opting for healthier alternatives of such products and leading players in the market are investing in and launching different variants of sauces and ketchup to keep up with the consumer demand.

Such demand is pushing manufacturers to stretch their product portfolio through rigorous research and new product development, leading to the market’s growth. The market today is making way for low-sugar and low-salt variants of ketchup and sauces, low-fat mayonnaise, and more.

The revolution in consumer demands

Discussing the latest consumer demands that are shaping the ketchup and sauce market, Sandeep Singh, executive director, Radiant Indus Chem, said, “The consumers want healthier options and are willing to try out new variants and flavors. The consumption of flavored mayonnaise, and salad dressings is rising fast. The category is no longer restricted to metro consumers but is also penetrating Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. The bulk of the consumption continues to be in the metro cities.”

Trending technologies

With advancements being made in the food industry in terms of equipment and methods, the sauces, ketchup, and mayonnaise on the market are getting better, tastier, and healthier. Technology has made their production more efficient than it was before. Commenting on this, Singh said, “There is work happening towards the development of clean label products. The packaging industry is also working to bring products to consumers in innovative designs and easy-to-use packs.”

Innovation paves the way forward

Innovative ingredients and technologies are the latest trends in the mayonnaise market. For instance, plant-based ingredients are being explored to make vegetable-based mayonnaise. Eggs are being replaced with plant-based alternatives in mayonnaise. Thus, the food industry is facing the challenge of searching for ingredients that can retain the characteristics of traditional mayonnaise while providing better nutritional value. Some polysaccharide-based ingredients are being used to gain sensory and physical-chemical traits of traditional mayonnaise with minimum alternation.

Singh stated that innovation to bring new flavors appealing to Indian consumers is on the rise. “A lot of work is happening in the development of low-fat mayonnaise. The launch of products in smaller grammage packs is leading to more trial and penetration of the category,” he added.

In line with consumers’ health goals

With an increased shift towards healthy living, consumers are opting for foods that are not detrimental to their health goals. Hence, at grocery stores, they deviate towards ketchup, sauces, and mayonnaise that promote well-being. Shedding light on this, Singh said, “Some of the sauces and salad dressings enhance the taste of salads while not being calorie heavy. The development of lower-fat mayonnaise products suits the health–conscious customers. Products are being launched with lower fat content. The development of clean-label products is in line with the trend for the development of healthier alternatives.”

Drivers and restraints

According to Singh, the penetration of quick service restaurant (QSR) chains in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and their advertisements, along with the GenZ young population which likes fast food and wants to experiment and try out new cuisines play a key role in driving the sauces, ketchup, and mayonnaise market in India. “The overall growth in population and current lower penetration of the sauces in the market means this category has huge potential,” he added.

However, in his opinion, some factors limit the market’s growth, like the emergence of health-conscious consumers looking for fresh food instead of processed food. Additionally, the growing obesity concerns in the population act as a restraint too. “While this may be a restraining factor for some of the existing products, it also offers opportunities for innovation and the development of new products,” he added, highlighting a silver lining in the situation.

Foodrite India, the food division of Radiant Indus Chem, which has been serving Indian retail consumers and institutional customers since 2008 under the brands Mrs Foodrite and Meal Time, will be participating in the upcoming ANUFOOD India trade show to be held from 7 to 9 September 2023 in Mumbai. Excited about the opportunity, Singh said, “We would be participating in ANUFOOD for the first time and are looking forward to it! We hope to get a great response and have a long association with this exhibition.”

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