We’ve heard for a long time that hot sauce sales are on the rise in the United States. And, it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to see it, let alone believe it. Hot sauces are everywhere. It seems like every time you head to the grocery store, there’s a new one on the shelves.
(Don’t worry, we’re not threatened. We welcome the competition… and all the delicious flavor combinations to sample.)
But, it always seems like such an American thing. It’s not that hot sauces are inherently American. You can find variations on hot sauces all over the world. It’s rather that they don’t seem like a particularly English phenomenon.
True, true, you can buy Reapers in one of the biggest grocery stores. But, English food isn’t known for being spicy. By and large, it’s not. But, you do need to remember that the Brits love their curries. They’re more likely to stop off for a curry on the way home from work than to order a pizza for delivery. (Perhaps we should give them a lot more credit….)
Hot Sauces Gather Market Share in the United Kingdom
Here’s what you should know, a total of 171 new condiments were introduced to the market in the last year through the big four supermarkets (and Waitrose, which doesn’t have the same market share but is at the high-end of the market). That doesn’t include specialty sauces sold at independent retailers or imported from overseas. The 171 sauces are just at the big chains.
Of those, roughly half are hot sauces or BBQ sauces (yes, they are a little behind the times). There were a bunch of new mayo products, as well as mustards. But ketchup hardly featured at all; nor did brown sauce.
In case you’re wondering, brown sauce is basically a steak sauce. The biggest brand is HP, though you’ll find plenty on the shelves in the UK. Though it doesn’t have such a huge following Stateside, it’s indispensable on the English breakfast table. (Don’t ask.)
And, just as ketchup is a major condiment in the United States, it’s the top seller in the British market. But not for long.
Warming British Hearts Every Day
According to the latest research, sales of ketchup and brown sauce (we yearn for a better name) fell by 3.7 percent. Salad cream fell by 8.6 percent. We agree with that; what’s the point of adding a heart attack to your salad?
At the same time, hot sauce sales grew by 7.5 percent. Ah yes, the sweet smell (or, rather, completely odorless smell) of capsaicin. The English are catching on fast. Fortunately, that’s good news for us – and every other chili head on the market. We believe it will spur on some completion and drive a new variety of flavors to our shores.
Don’t worry; we’ll keep innovating new sauces, so you don’t have any reason to turn from your favorite.