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10th Sep 2017

Mayonnaise has overtaken ketchup as Britain’s most popular condiment

The question is: which do you prefer?

Rich Cooper

Condiments are a hot topic.

Well, they’re normally either a room temperature or refrigerated topic, but that’s a whole other debate.

For ages, tomato ketchup has been Britain’s ruling sauce. Good old Tommy K has always been there, on your chips, on your burger, on just about anything. But a contender has been bubbling underneath, and it’s name is mayonnaise.

There’s a definite partisan division among Brits: some are massively pro ketchup, others are strictly mayonnaise. Then there’s people who prefer BBQ or peri-peri, but they’re in the minority.

Until recently, ketchup has been the dominant force in the condiment charts, but mayo has now officially pipped red sauce to the post.

Industry figures from Kantar Worldpanel show sales of mayonnaise have risen by 6.9% to £152.2million, while ketchup seems to be falling out of favour, dropping by 2.7% to £145.5million. By volume, ketchup was down by 4.2% and its rival up 7.3% in the year up to April.

Laurie Booker, marketing director for brand design agency Cowan, told The Grocer: “There have been some interesting innovations within mayo while ketchup has remained largely the same. A wider flavour choice means mayo has become more appealing and intriguing.”

A number of pretenders to ketchup’s throne have arrived in recent years, such as Sriracha and hot sauce, which may have diverted sales away from the classic condiment.

Mayo fans, your time is now. You are officially top dog.