| Aug 29, 2019

Topping Off the Summer: Condiments from Coast to Coast

Labor Day is nearly here, signaling the end of summer for most folks in the United States. But before officially launching into pumpkin spice season, we figured there was time for one last summer insights soirée, and what better way to top off the season than to look at how people top off their food. Which condiments are most popular from coast to coast? Did Millennials really kill mayo? Do healthy eaters spend less on salad dressings? Dig in to find out.

Across the country this weekend, friends and families will be gathering over food and drinks to bid farewell to summer. If you’re interested in a comprehensive look at what they’ll be buying, check out our Summer Grilling Guide, but if you’re just here for a taste of 2019 summer condiment sales and insights, read on!

Condiments from Coast to Coast

This summer, the Midwest kept it simple, spending more of their condiment dollars on pickles and dips than the rest of the country. Things got spicy in the Mountain region, where shoppers spent more on hot sauces, while the Southwest stayed sweet with a heavy helping of honey. On the West Coast, soy sauce was the clear winner— unsurprising given the large Asian-American population and the natural influence that would have on culinary preferences. The East Coast doubled down on summer grilling staples like ketchup and mayo, but New England— always unique— seemed to have a thing for olives… martinis, anyone? 

Millennials Killed Mayo

Most condiments we looked at had strong generational trends. Younger shoppers spent significantly more on ketchup, hot sauce and dips than the average shopper this summer, while older shoppers skewed towards mustard, salad dressings and mayo. And yes, it seems the rumors are true: Millennials killed mayo. But is it gone for good? It’s possible that mayo is simply a product more commonly purchased at later stages in life, so it’ll be interesting to see if mayo spending among Millennials and Gen Z’ers picks up as they get older. 

Healthy Eaters are Heavy Spenders

Condiments, for the most part, don’t really scream, “healthy,” yet level of concern with healthy eating actually aligned with higher condiment spend. Products like pickles, ketchup and mayo all lost with shoppers who identified themselves as "very concerned with healthy eating," and given the high salt, sugar and calorie contents, this doesn’t come as much surprise. Their decreased spending on these products was outweighed by an increased spending on other condiments, though. Honey, olives, jams & butters, and dips (primarily hummus and guacamole) all performed extremely well with this group. Healthy shoppers also spent less on salad dressings, which is interesting given they’re probably eating more salads, but it may be that they prefer to go dressing free or use alternative seasonings. 

That's a wrap on summer insights for 2019. But there’s always more to learn about shopper behavior, so drop us a line and let us dip into our psychographic data for insights that will help you spice up your sales next summer and all seasons.

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