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Plant-Based Condiments Draw on Health Trends, Superfood Appeal

Photograph: Kayco

Few food trends are as closely linked as healthy eating and plant-based cuisine. Consumers say nutritional value is the No. 1 reason that motivates them to choose a vegetarian or vegan entree, according to Technomic’s 2021 Center of the Plate: Seafood and Vegetarian report.

And just like plant-based eating gives consumers an opportunity to include more healthy foods into their diets, it also gives retailers an opportunity to offer products that fulfill both needs at once—ingredients for meatless meals featuring nutrition-packed “superfoods.”

Dressings driving sales

As consumers are shopping for vegetarian options at the supermarket, sauces and condiments have a big appeal. According to a 2020 report from the Good Food Institute, sales of plant-based condiments and dressings increased $81 million year over year—123% of dollar sales the previous year. Similarly, Technomic’s May 2022 Novel Menu Trends highlights sauces and condiments made from superfood nuts and seeds as driving innovation in plant-based eating.

For example, tahini, which is known to many as the ingredient that gives hummus its creaminess and nutty flavor, is made from sesame seeds, a superfood packed with calcium, protein, fiber, iron and other essential vitamins that make it particularly appealing to consumers seeking plant-based foods packed with big nutrition. Tahini strikes a balance between approachability and novelty—offering peak versatility while giving consumers an opportunity to refresh their favorite recipes in a snap.

Keep it simple

Convenience plays a major role in the appeal of sauces and condiments, too—plant-based dressings can add big flavor and nutrition to grain bowls, salads and other healthy recipes. At restaurants, tahini’s top applications according to Ignite menu data include falafel, veggie sandwiches, veggie bowls, hummus and other vegetable dips, and consumers’ at-home uses are likely similar. With a nod to Mediterranean cuisine, tahini can help meet consumer demand for plant-based global dishes that combine novelty with approachability.

It can be helpful for merchandising to lean into these consumer priorities; try offering recipe inspiration for plant-based dishes with a global twist, or highlight ease of use with plant-based condiments as a quick addition to healthy meals at home.

And, of course, choosing the right products to offer is crucial, too. Tahini from Mighty Sesame Co., a Kayco brand, offers tahini in a number of convenient formats—including tubs for easy use in recipes as well as in squeeze bottles to add directly to salads, sandwiches and more. Varieties include Whole Seed Tahini and creamy Organic Tahini, each made with sesame seeds as the only ingredient, as well as Harissa Tahini for a perfectly spicy twist.

Mighty Sesame tahini is as versatile as it is easy to use in consumers’ favorite plant-based meals. To learn more, visit mightysesameco.com.

This post is sponsored by Kayco

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