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NEW YORK - Sales of American sandwich spread staples like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are slowing as consumers cook less, eat out more, and switch to bolder, spicier condiments such as salsa, according to a new study by market research firm Packaged Facts.
According to the study, "Ketchup, Mustard, and Mayonnaise in the U.S.," the sandwich spread market, stuck at $3 billion, is likely to continue struggling as it suffers from lack of product and packaging innovation.
Packaged Facts projected that sandwich condiment sales will continue a downward trend begun in 2004. By 2010, sales are expected to sink to just under $2.9 billion.
Mayonnaise still dominates with a 59 percent market share, followed by ketchup and mustard. All sectors have continued to fall off steadily without loss in market share. Only 36 new products have been introduced to the market between June 2005 and June 2006-most of them launched by smaller players.
While marketers are hard-pressed to stop the decline, they've slowed it down a bit by touting the health benefits of some sandwich spreads specifically formulated to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers, such as lycopene-rich ketchup and low-fat mayonnaise. Similarly, upscale, gourmet, and organic versions of the popular spreads have helped to renew interest in the market as well.
"The emergence of 'healthier-for-you' spreads as well as ethnic-inspired and alcohol-infused spreads should keep the market from declining too badly," said Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts. "But more innovation is necessary to keep up with America's more sophisticated palates and desire for exciting and novel flavors."
Packaged Facts studied each segment of the market, examining new product trends, offering competitive profiles of industry players, and looking at consumer trends, behaviors, and preferences that factor into the use of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. The full report is available at www.packagedfacts.com.