The Publication For The Grocery Trade
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Wanis gears up for BBQ season with launch of three new sauces

With the Afro-Caribbean food and drink category growing at a rate of 3% per annum and worth more than 90 million, according to research from IRI, the British BBQ season once again offers excellent opportunities for retailers to tap into this growing trend for Afro-Caribbean cuisine.

In the past year, Wanis, the UK's leading supplier and distributor of Afro-Caribbean food and drink products has seen its range of authentic Afro-Caribbean products expand and see good growth. This growth has been put down to the rise in number of adventurous consumers who are becoming more discerning in their food selections and more experimental in their home cooking.

Wanis MD Sanjay Wadhwani explains some other reasons behind the Afro-Caribbean food category's growth: "As more Afro-Caribbean products become widely available in the multiples and as consumers continue to become more educated in Afro-Caribbean cooking through holidays to the Caribbean, TV chefs, summer carnivals and because of the proliferation of Afro-Caribbean restaurants, classic Afro-Caribbean dishes like Jerk chicken are becoming favourites in households throughout the UK.

"Our Jamaica Sun Jerk sauce and Tropical Sun Jerk seasoning have proved extremely popular over the past year, especially during the BBQ season. Feedback from our customers tells us that the Jerk Sauce is being used as a marinade as well as a dipping sauce, while the more adventurous consumers are making their Jerk sauces from scratch. This is indicative of a trend towards more experimental cooking and also buying from consumers."

With the category continuing to move forward at a fast pace, Wanis is constantly sourcing new authentic products and ingredients to cater for this growing demand. Wanis' Tropical Sun and Jamaica Sun brands which include sauces, marinades and spices amongst others saw double digit sales increases during last year's spring and summer seasons with the Tropical Sun sauces range in particular seeing increases of 80%.

Now to keep up with consumers' needs Wanis is increasing its Tropical Sun range of sauces. Joining Original Hot Pepper, Smooth Hot Pepper, Sweet Chilli and Sweet Mango Chilli in the Tropical Sun range in 2008 are Rasta sauce, Chilli & Garlic sauce and Peri Peri sauce. Rasta sauce is made to a traditional Caribbean recipe and has a vibrant fruity flavour with a medium heat. Tropical Sun Chilli and Garlic is made using sun ripened ground chillies and garlic and the Peri Peri is made with a blend of chillis, lemons and spices with a distinct Portuguese influence. Not only are these sauces great as dipping sauces, they can be used to make marinades or as an ingredient to add flavour to a range of dishes.

Sanjay Wadhwani continues: "More and more consumers are looking past ketchup as their condiment of choice and instead looking for interesting sauces with varying heats and flavours from around the world. This is exactly why we have expanded our Tropical Sun range and as well as adding new flavours, we have also made our Tropical Sun sauces available in 150ml bottles so consumers can easily experiment with the range."

Due to the growth of the ethnic food category and changing consumer needs, Wanis predicts 2008 will see an increased amount of ethnic products, marinades and spices making their way onto barbecues in the UK. Feedback shows that consumers not only want the best cuts of meat and the freshest vegetables but are now searching for unusual spices and marinades in order to impress guests and make their BBQ one to remember.

To make the most of the BBQ season, retailers would do well to plan early and be ready for that first sunny weekend of spring. With competition fierce between the multiples and independents during the summer months for BBQ custom, it is vital that retailers can attract consumers early in the hope of keeping them throughout the summer.

"Retailers have to be prepared for that first BBQ opportunity and when selecting their offerings, retailers have to be careful to only stock brands with real heritage and provenance. Brands such as Tropical Sun, Jamaica Sun, Walkerswood, DG Malta and Baron Sauces are iconic Afro-Caribbean brands and signify quality and authenticity to the consumer; retailers opting for lesser known brands risk losing sales."

Feedback also shows that more consumers are planning themed barbecues. This offers a real opportunity for pro-active retailers to increase sales of ethnic products by educating consumers on how to have an authentic Afro-Caribbean BBQ.

"With UK consumers currently very receptive to new tastes, flavours and cuisines, retailers have a great opportunity to educate consumers and make recommendations. By giving consumers the option of having an Afro-Caribbean BBQ, retailers can not only see increased sales of their staple BBQ products such as meats but also of complimentary BBQ products such as traditional Afro-Caribbean seasonings, sauces, snacks, ingredients used in side dishes, soft drinks and alcohol. By creating a separate display for BBQ products, retailers can make it easier for consumers to find these complimentary products and encourage them to try new things and spend more."
Contact Information
For further information please contact:

Wanis Ltd
Tel: 020 8988 1100
www.wanis.com