Complementing What We Eat.
Condiments are enjoying a renaissance, at last following the trend of most food categories in creating a new premium tier (think Kettle Brand chips compared to Lay’s or Strauss Creamery ice cream [or any other local specialty brand] compared to Haagan Daz or Dreyers). These new, delicious accompaniments deliver with better quality ingredients, international inspiration, and even computer-aided taste optimization.
- Sir Kensington first launched its all-natural ketchup with a branding play centered on a fictional story of a Sir Kensington and his culinary accomplishments. They’ve crafted a clever, witty brand with Sir Kensington himself emblazoned on the front of the packages. These premium condiments have caught on and have already been extended to mayonnaise and mustard.
- Sosu is another brand of ketchup trying to outdo the traditional Heinz by focusing on ingredients and unique flavors. Described as artisan sauces, Sosu products are made with organic ingredients that blend sweet tomatoes with unique flavors such as Siracha.
- Hampton Creek, a San Francisco start-up, has a mission to “bring healthy and affordable food to everyone, everywhere.” Its differentiating point is a plant-based egg product made from peas that is used in its first product, Just Mayo, a healthier alternative to the traditional mayo’s on the market.
- New Yorkers are going crazy for Ben’s Cheese Planet’s cream cheese. Bucking the trend to meet demand, the company keeps to itself and only produces to order using fresh milk and no preservatives.
- International flavors have come to the fore this season. Japanese pickles called Tsukemono are hot. Look for them on a menu near you.
- Mark Brittman, The New York Times Magazine’s lead food columnist, wrote this article in July championing homemade sauces made from ingredients you control.
Consumer Forecast: Help me complement my food, deliciously.
Bittman, Mark. “7 Sauces That Taste Better Homemade,” The New York Times, July 15, 2014.
Gordinier, Jeff. “Ben’s Cream Cheese: A Favorite Wrapped in Mystery,” The New York Times, May 27, 2014.
“Tsukemono,” Saveur, June 1, 2014.