The return to the kitchen that has been seen throughout the U.S. recession has amped up many food and drink segment, and the sauces and marinades market is joining the upward swing. According to latest research from Mintel, the cooking sauces and marinades category gained 20 percent in U.S. retail sales between 2005 and 2010 and is expected to increase by another 19 percent by 2015.

“With more people staying in and preparing meals at home, we are not surprised to see this category increase,” says David Browne, senior analyst at Mintel. “However, this sector may see some challenges in the next few years with people starting to eat out more, higher ingredient prices deterring purchases, and easy-to-prepare convenience foods like frozen entrées and pre-seasoned meats increasing in the marketplace.”
The cooking sauces and marinades market is divided into five segments with dry sauces and other wet sauces being the largest, with just over 26 percent market share each. Ethnic sauces, barbecue sauces, and refrigerated/frozen sauces follow with 19 percent, 18 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.
It would appear that the majority of Americans like getting saucy, with 83 percent of adults who cook/prepare meals at home saying they use sauces/marinades or dry seasonings to prepare a meal at home. Store-bought marinades are most popular with nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of home cooks using them and just over half (51 percent) of cooks reporting the use of homemade sauces where they combine their own ingredients.
“One in four of those who cook at least half of their meals at home and use store-bought sauces feel that purity claims like natural or no additives and preservatives are important when shopping for sauces and marinades," Browne says. "Marketers are meeting this need by introducing new products using these claims and/or reformulating existing products.”
In fact, according to Mintel GNPD, the aforementioned purity claims, along with kosher, held the top three ranking claims for cooking sauces and marinades during 2006-2010.
Among home cooks, 52 percent are preparing more meals at home and 64 percent say they enjoy experimenting with new recipes.  Hence, marketers of cooking sauces and marinades can help them create new and novel fare for their families.
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