Saturday, October 29, 2011: 04:12:08 PM

Food Processing Poll Feature

The sauce market in India

Growing popularity of continental cuisine driving the demand for new types sauces in the Indian market

Sauces have never been a part of the Indian cuisine till the advent of the British. Its desi counterpart, the chutney, might be considered by some to be a type of sauce but some basic differences always remain. For one, sauces usually undergo chemical processing or scientific heating or cooling procedures. They are known to have very high shelf life and mostly are well packaged products sold by FMCG giants in India. The chutney, on the other hand, is a homemade food accompaniment that uses traditional herbs and spices.

 
Food enthusiast and NGO employee Anwesha Majumder says, “I love sauces that blend in well with the food and balances the overall flavour of the dish. My favourites remain the chilli garlic and mayonnaise.” Common sauces like tomato sauce, soya sauce, mustard sauce, mayonnaise and chilli sauce, though common in India, find consumers mainly in the middle, upper-middle and lower classes in India. This is mainly because most traditional Indian cuisines do not require the sauce as an accompaniment or ingredient. A recent survey by FoodProcessing360 saw voters divided about their opinion on the Indian sauce market. While half of the voters felt that the market was still open to new types of sauces, the other half refrained from taking a stand.
 
More to come
 
With continental cuisine rapidly gaining popularity in India, some of the sauces that entered recently include the barbeque sauce, capsico sauce, oyster sauce and the mushroom sauce. Though most of these sauces are available after being imported, many Indian companies are gradually entering the market with their own products. Though the uptake of these sauces is mainly in the urban kitchens, more and more middle class families are opening up to the idea of these sauces. Speaking of the growing demand in the market, food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (Mysore), Dr VH Potty, says, “Ketchup and sauces were coloured artificially not long ago but today tomato varieties with high color content are grown to meet the demand from this sector.”
 
It is likely that with FDI entering multi-brand retail in India, more new sauces will become popular. Foodies will be hoping that delicious ones like the wasabi, wine sauce and espagnole make a mark in the Indian market and the condiments gain enough popularity to come at a reasonable price.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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