Britain's love of sauces has never been stronger, judging on a recent report that reveals people around the UK spent a record £550 million on ketchup, mayo and brown sauce in the past year. 

According to the figures, there was an increase in sales for both red and brown sauce, salad cream and mayonnaise.

But it has also sparked fierce competition between big name brands and own labels that has seen prices fall rather than rise in the 12 months to June, analysts told trade journal The Grocer.

The decrease is small – shoppers are paying an average of 0.9 per cent less per kilogram – but any fall is seen as significant at a time when many other food and drink prices are rising.

The report also suggests that despite ‘posh sauces’ hitting the aisles, consumers are still putting cheaper versions into their baskets with price the main factor, said The Grocer.

Average prices of big name brands of mayonnaise have fallen the most, by around 3.2 per cent, in the past year, analysts Kantar told the publication.

This is partly due to special offers and price promotions with a price war battle taking place between the two biggest manufacturers, Kraft Heinz and Unilever, which owns Hellmann’s.

Another key factor is the boom of the discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl, said Kantar’s analyst Syliva Borawska.

She said: “The success of sauces has been driven heavily by heightened promotional activity for brands and the growth of discounters over the past year with average prices dropping 0.9 per cent across the sector.

“Sauces have put in a positive performance with volume growing ahead of value – 4.2 per cent to 3.2 per cent.”

Table sauce table (source Kantar Worldpanel for The Grocer)

The Top five:

Mayonnaise – £156.9 million (up 2.6 per cent)
Tomato ketchup – £153.7 million (up 2.9 per cent)
Salad cream – £56.9 million (up 0.9 per cent)
Brown sauce – £49.1 million (up 4.2 per cent)
Dressings – 343.7 million (down 0.6 per cent )

*Figures for the 12 months to June 17th, 2018

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