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Custom Sauces Build Your Profits &amp; Customer Loyalty!

News & Trends

February 16, 2021

One of the easiest paths to higher profits and customer loyalty is customizing two or three signature sauces that you can call your own. From upscaling a burger for a higher profit to adding a customized condiment to loaded fries or tots, there are plenty of reasons to make adding custom sauces and condiments a priority.

A survey of operators by Datassential found that 46% of commercial operators still do not offer a signature sauce. Among those who do, more than half offer three or more, with 64% prepping those sauces back of house. Using common pantry ingredients such as mayo, ranch dressing or ketchup as a base, operators are pursuing trending flavors that are typically spicy or sweet. The survey found that the signature sauces are used as a salad dressing, dipping sauce, sandwich or burger spread and/or unique wing sauce.


Consumers love the unique flavors, with 45% saying that they look forward to a restaurant’s signature sauce and 91% saying that they would like to “buy” their favorite signature sauce at a supermarket and take it home, according to the results of a recent Datassential study.

The profitability of upscaling a sandwich or burger or upcharging for a custom sauce is impressive. A 100-unit chain offering three sauces at a 35¢ upcharge, and selling just 30 of each at every restaurant can add an extra $1.1 million to their sales. The ability to use a custom sauce as a sandwich condiment, a dip for sharable appetizers, a topping for loaded tots or fries and even as a salad dressing enables an operator to leverage it across multiple applications for efficiency.

Red Gold offers some signature sauces that are premade. Our Huy Fong® Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce Ketchup is a good example. The presence of sriracha ketchup on U.S. menus is up by 128% since 2016. Another is Red Gold’s Mama Selita’s Jalapeno Ketchup. Mentions of jalapeño in sauces are up 11%* in the past four years. For those creating their own sauces, spicy ingredients are trending. Gochujang (+290%* since 2016), sriracha, harissa, togarashi, and piri piri are all possible flavors.

Don’t forget the importance of ketchup as an ingredient as well. Take a look at some of our favorites:

Signature Sauce Ideas Using Ketchup!

  1. Ketchup Cheese Sauce – A fantastic addition to pretzels, fresh veggies and tortilla chips, Red Gold Ketchup is combined with melting cheese and Dijon mustard for a tasty, warm dipping
  2. Your OWN Thousand Island Dressing – A tangy addition to salads, Reubens and turkey melts, Red Gold Ketchup is combined with mayonnaise and pickled relish in this familiar
  3. Cola BBQ Sauce – This refreshingly fun BBQ sauce combines Red Gold Ketchup, cola, and apple cider
  4. Fry Sauce – Did you know “Fry Sauce” was up 14%* in mentions on restaurant menus by in mentions on restaurant menus in 2019? It’s half Red Gold Ketchup and half mayo. For some heat, add some hot sauce.
  5. Truffle Ketchup – Blend savory black truffle oil with Red Gold Ketchup for a deliciously intense
  6. Indian Dipping Sauce – The flavors of India come together to create a memorable sauce with Red Gold Ketchup, sour Major Grey’s chutney, and curry
  7. Chipotle Lime Ketchup – Blend Red Gold Ketchup with chipotle pepper puree and lime juice for a refreshing
  8. Sweet Balsamic Ketchup – Bring out the sweet side of your ketchup with Red Gold Ketchup blended with sweet balsamic vinegar.

Unlike a beverage that is typically left off a delivery or take-out order, custom sauces are easily transportable in plastic ramekins with a lid. Combined with profitable sides such as fries, these sauces can lead to the capture of extra dollars and are sure to please your customers.

*Datassential 2020

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