OVER a fifth of annual condiments sales occur in December, according to Unilever’s Partners for Growth.
With Christmas being the time for turkey, cranberry sauce is especially popular in the run-up to the event, with 42% of annual sales occurring in December.
Sales penetration (the proportion of households which actually buys the product) for mustard is 33% higher in December than the rest of the year, while spend on speciality mustards, such as wholegrain and Dijon, is 49% higher than average in December.
Such figures suggest there are significant opportunities for retailers in the category.
And Unilever category expert Hannah Cole thinks retailers will lose out on seasonal sales if they don’t vary the products on sauce and condiments shelves.
“Include condiments such as cranberry and horseradish sauces in winter when people are eating more roasts and hot meals,” she said.
“Christmas is also a key time for mayonnaise, so remind shoppers to stock up. In winter, keeping abreast of new formats in the savoury category, such as the jelly stocks, will help keep shelves looking up-to-date and drive sales.”
Tara Levine, managing director of EMEA Ocean Spray International Services UK, reckons sauces and condiments should not be restricted to a single display.
“Giving key festive brands additional store sitings on the run-up to Christmas will drive incremental sales,” she said.
The company is bringing a new flavour to the table for Christmas 2014 with the launch of Cranberry Apple Sauce. The new product pairs the taste of apple, which it says is the second largest condiment segment after mint, according to Kantar World Panel figures, with cranberry, to create a sauce it describes as the perfect partner for pork and great for many other uses.
Ocean Spray will also support its core range through the festive season with special shipper displays in stores and a £1 price offer.
Meanwhile, Unilever UK is revamping the packaging of its entire Colman’s condiments range for this Christmas season, as well as re-releasing its limited edition 200th anniversary mustard jars.