Smoked flavours are popular

By: Szalai László Date: 2023. 05. 10. 10:45

We can find inflation behind the dynamic value sales growth in the spice category in 2022.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2023/5

Ágnes Szűts, Kotányi Hungária Kft.’s marketing manager:

Ágnes Szűts
marketing manager
Kotányi Hungária

 “As mono spices are essential food products, sales suffered less from the economising of shoppers in this segment. In the sales performance of spice mixes it was obvious that certain groups of consumers bought less to save money”.


Rita Bazsó
marketing manager
Univer Product

Rita Bazsó, Univer Product Zrt.’s marketing manager called attention to the important role of private labels in the conquest of discounters.

“In this channel in-out promotions work well for branded products. Sales in promotion are important for a brand, but the right proportion and time need to be found”.



Demand is high, but shoppers don’t decide hastily

Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika Zrt.’s experience is that demand is on the rise for small-sized and lower quality products, which are cheaper.

Hegedűs Zoltán-Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika

Zoltán Hegedűs
commercial director
Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika

Commercial director Zoltán Hegedűs:

“Online order with delivery is a strong trend in the category, so advertisements have become important, because shoppers decide based on these”.

Demand for spices soars in the barbecue season. Henrietta Csicselyné Biró, Thymos Hungária Kft.’s sales director:

Csicselyné Biró Henriett-Thymos Hungária

Henrietta Csicselyné Biró
sales director
Thymos Hungária

“This probably also has to do with the fact that cooking at home has become part of daily life in many households. Plus people like to spend time with their family and friends in these difficult times”.




Stable position for dressings on the dinner table

Anita Plánk, Unilever Magyarország’s nutrition strategy lead:

Anita Plánk
ideation lead
Unilever Magyarország

“Dressing value sales increased by double-digit numbers, but product prices also elevated at this level. Even if volume sales decreased, this was only a minimal decline. Dressings are essential food products that many households purchase”.

László Bruszt
ügyvezető igazgató
Lacikonyha Magyarország

László Bruszt, Lacikonyha Magyarország Kft.’s managing director:

“Our group makes sure that we purchase quality ingredients in a safe manner, so the market uncertainties don’t disrupt our sales operations. We are hoping for good sales results in the barbecue season, as our liquid marinades are more and more popular”.



Kovács Barbara, Maresi

Barbara Kovács
junior brand manager
Maresi Foodbroker

Maresi Foodbroker Kft. has been the official distributor of Kikkoman soy sauces for more than a decade.

 Junior brand manager Barbara Kovács:

“Last year volume sales were down in the whole soy sauce category. This was the first time for us that volume sales didn’t grow, just stagnated. We see great potential in the barbecue season”.






Smoked innovations

Kotányi Hungária Kft. comes out with new products every year. Currently one of the biggest trends is smoked flavours. Kotányi has had a smoked red paprika product for years, and in the last few years they also put smoked salt and smoked black pepper on the market. This year the company is preparing for the barbecue season with sophisticated mixes in grinder packaging, containing smoked salt and black pepper – Five Pepper mix, Chilli mix and Garlic mix will soon hit the shops. All of them are made naturally, for instance the special taste of smoke black pepper is the result of smoking with beechwood for seven days.

Strong start, strong continuation by the Erős brand

Univer’s business policy hasn’t changed: offering high quality products to consumers at affordable prices. Last year the company entered the market with very successful new innovations: Erős Pista sauces – mayonnaise, ketchup and garlic cream – started off very well. This probably was also the result of hot flavours gaining ground in the world of gastronomy. In advertising Univer still thinks television commercials are very effective, and the company believes young consumers can be reached the most easily on the internet.

As for Unilever, this year’s innovation plans are inspired by consumer demand and market trends. The company will roll out new innovations in the mayonnaise and grill sauce categories.

The mono-spice market is the least affected by consumer “rationalisation”

Liquid growth

Thymos has prepared for the 2023 barbecue season. They are present on store shelves with Marco Polo and Thymos spice marinades, spice grinders, spice mixes, spice salts and the very popular 50g Thymos friend onion product. Liquid spice marinades are especially successful. A growing proportion of shoppers purchase Big Pack variants. This is also true for liquid spice marinades, as the company sold 20% more 150g marinades in 2022 – this quantity is enough for 3kg of meat.

Lacikonyha Magyarország also sees growing demand for liquid marinades. Consumers are starting to realise that these can’t just be used in the barbecue season, as they are excellent for adding flavour to meat in any season. Last year the company expanded the Ízmester liquid marinade portfolio to 9 products, as 2022 brought the debut of the peppercorn mix and mustard variants. This year Lacikonyha will upgrade its recipes: from the summer products will contain no flavour enhancers.

Demand for liquid marinades has increased

Educating consumers

With Kikkoman soy sauces, last year Maresi Foodbroker began focusing on teaching consumers how to use the products in different ways, explaining them that they aren’t just good for Asian dishes. They did a grill promotion, as soy sauce is perfect for marinating meat. 250ml Kikkoman soy sauce is the best-selling format. The company has new product ideas for 2023, but it very much seems that the market is focusing on the basic products. At the end of this year the Kikkoman brand will launch its Instagram page, which will continue the education of consumers.

Kalocsai Fűszerpaprika Zrt. is rather pessimistic about the barbecue season. They think that many consumers will make do with mixing the good old ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise with the classic spices (salt, pepper, paprika and dried herbs) they can find at home. Just like in former years, the company is participating in the private label programmes of retailers, but at the same time they are also selling their branded products. On demand they can switch to smaller product size or change the product composition.

Demand for smaller pack sizes and cheaper products has grown

What will the summer bring?

Kotányi believes it is very difficult to predict how the summer season will develop. Shoppers continue to buy cautiously, even the well-off consumers are showing up in discount supermarkets now, plus the classic Easter and Christmas seasons generate lower sales than they used to.

Unilever plans with further growth in value sales this year, with volume sales staying put or increasing a little. The company thinks some households will go to restaurants less often, which means more home cooking and more dressing use. //

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