Ed Finkel

Chef adds sauce to plate

Sauce and condiment product formulation trends are migrating from the restaurant table to supermarket shelves.

“As people are cooking at home, they’re starting to think about [the fact that] condiments help them achieve restaurant-quality food at home,” says Mark Engel, founder of Fifth Taste Foods, which recently introduced a four-item line of plant-based chile crisp sauces. During the pandemic, “People weren’t traveling, they had disposable income, maybe they said, ‘Hey, I’m not going out to dinner as much, let me try this new ingredient,’” he reflects.

Foodservice has long had a major influence on barbecue and steak sauce makers given that chefs and their restaurants are always trying to do something to differentiate themselves, says Brad Jungles, chief marketing officer for Rufus Teague, a maker of barbecue and steak sauces. “Therefore, they’re trying something new, picking up on new flavors and new techniques constantly,” he says. “When something sticks, it’s going to filter down to retail consumers.”

Booker’s Soul Food Starters built its business on foodservice, but with the shutdowns during the heart of the pandemic and labor shortages since then, it’s pivoted to retail in just the past year, and its seasoning mixes already have been placed in 2,000 stores, says Claude Booker, co-founder of the company. “It allows me to expand with that home consumer a little bit more,” he says. “I’m seeing operators in foodservice limiting menus to deal with the challenges of supply chain.”

Campbell Soup Co. sees chefs as leading the way to come out with new offerings that consumers try and then want to have available on-shelf. Inspired by the strength of the overall cheese sauce and queso segment, the Nacho Cheese Sauce that Pace has brought to market is similar to foodservice offerings with which consumers are familiar from sports, concert, and other entertainment venue foodservice operations, for example.

“That allowed us to bring an ingredient to shelf that consumers can now enjoy at home,” says Inri Mouchette, senior director of innovation.

About the Author

Ed Finkel is a freelance journalist based in Evanston, Ill. ([email protected]).


Digital Exclusives right arrow

10 Food Trend Predictions for 2022

The editors at Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), have announced their predictions for the hottest food trends for 2022.

When Science Follows Technology

While canning is commonplace today, for that generation of food technologists it was a paradigmatic example of the power of science to change food for the better.

Ingredient Companies Seek Sodium Reduction Solutions

In October 2021, the FDA released new voluntary guidance on sodium reduction with the overarching goal of reducing consumption by 12% over the next two-and-a-half years.

North American Consumers Get Comfortable With Cannabis

What changes have occurred in the way Canadians perceive cannabis since it was legalized there in 2018? How do Canadian and U.S. consumers of cannabis and edibles compare?

Food Technology Articles right arrow

The Inflation Diet

An infographic presenting facts and figures on how inflation impacts grocery choices.

CHIPS Act Opens Door for Food Science Research, Remembering a Past IFT President

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends

Outlook 2023: Technology Trends

The second in a series of three trend articles for the year ahead tracks what food and beverage technologies are trending in 2023 and beyond.

Restaurants Reset for a Rough Ride

Returning menu superstars, reimagined classics, and internationally inspired cuisine are upgrading foodservice menus.

Identifying Flavor Compounds in Black Tea, Instant Noodle Market to Grow

News about food science research, food companies, food regulations, and consumer/marketplace trends

Recent Brain Food right arrow

A Roadmap for Combating Food Insecurity and Promoting Health

IFT’s Anna Rosales attended the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Here are her key takeaways.

Bringing Their True Selves to Work

Two IFT members reflect on how resource groups help them promote diversity and inclusion on the job.

ICYMI: Our Most-Popular Business FIRST Conversations Available Online

Tune in to the IFT FIRST on-demand content channel and hear from experts and innovators who are making big impacts.

Packing a School Lunch? Keep Safety Top of Mind 

A few simple steps are all it takes to keep school lunches not only tasty but safe, says IFT’s food safety expert Sara Bratager.