Condiments are big business during the barbecue season and the past 12 months haven’t been short on new launches to this market. The total barbecue sauces market is worth £18.9m (AC Nielsen 52 weeks ending January 22, 2011).

Market leader Heinz currently has a 52% volume share of the category (Nielsen) and hopes to grow this further via a raft of innovations. The company has done its part to help with lazy summer days with the launch of a BBQ and fruity sauces range in a top-down format. “By introducing the new format we are making it easier for people to add a squeeze of their favourite HP BBQ sauce to their sausage or burger,” says Heinz sauces and soups marketing director Giles Jepson. “The new top-down format will also have a more premium look which will appeal to both new and existing consumers.”

Retailer’s view

“The barbecue season is always a popular one for us so we make sure that we have plenty of stock on display for our customers as early as possible. People will start barbecuing as soon as the weather gets warm and with the recent bank holidays people have got a taste for it.” 
Steve Bassett, Londis, Weymouth, Dorset

It has also teamed up with Diageo to add a new variant to the range HP Guinness Sauce. Jepson hopes the collaboration will drive incremental sales, especially in the barbecue season. “Bringing together two such iconic brands will help drive awareness of the HP brand,” he says. “Our research has shown that not only will the new sauce appeal to male consumers in their twenties and thirties, it also researched well with existing HP consumers, particularly females who enjoy cooking from scratch.”

Guinness isn’t the only big-name alcohol brand getting in on the condiments act. Last September Jack Daniel’s launched a Smokey Sweet Barbecue Glaze onto the UK market. Brand manager Geraldine Marks says that the product doesn’t have to be left on the shelf if the sun doesn’t shine. “The UK barbecue market will always be at the mercy of the British weather which is why we’ve developed a series of recipes that can be used on the grill or in the kitchen to create smokey dishes that will appeal to the younger, affluent foodie who wants to offer a premium alternative to the traditional, mainstream barbecue sauces.”

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