Sauces like HP shunned in favour of flavours like Nando's Peri-Peri

Brown sauce has had its chips! Shoppers shun traditional sauces such as HP and English mustard in favour of more exotic flavours like Nando’s Peri-Peri, data shows

  • Classic British sauces are becoming less popular for younger people
  • Brown sauce, English Mustard and even ketchup are falling in popularity 
  • Millennials are choosing more exotic flavours found in Nando’s Peri-Peri

Brown sauce has long been a favourite for families across the country, but it is apparently no longer cutting the mustard for many British households.

Sales of the popular spiced condiment – of which HP is the most recognisable brand – have dropped by 12.4 per cent, according to The Grocer magazine.

It is part of a general fall in popularity for traditional condiments across the board, with shoppers also shunning such staples as English mustard and ketchup in favour of more exotic flavours, such as Nando’s Peri-Peri.

But food experts believe brown sauce, commonly consumed alongside a full English breakfast, may have fallen out of favour with avocado-loving millennials.

Classic sauces like brown sauce (HP bottle pictured) are becoming less popular with Millennials

While spicier options like Nando’s peri-peri sauce are more popular than ever

Pam Digva, who co-founded Sauce Shop along with husband James in 2014, said: ‘I think there’s always space on the plate for ketchup, but I’m afraid brown sauce just doesn’t go with a lot of the sorts of food people eat these days.

‘People are much more likely to be enjoying avocados on toast or a shakshuka for breakfast rather than a big greasy fry-up, and they’re eating spicier sauces with these. Our brown sauce is absolutely delicious, but it just isn’t as popular as our bestselling product, the 12:51 Scotch Bonnet Jam.’ Ms Digva said she believed a surge in takeaway food orders during the Covid lockdown, coupled with more adventurous home cooking, had exposed people’s palates to a broader range of flavours.

She added: ‘Buffalo hot sauce is also really popular, and I put that down to the fact that there are just so many wing restaurants on Deliveroo. People are much more exposed to spicy, more exotic food.’

Ms Digva also said that many families were choosing to recreate popular takeaway meals at home, rather than forking out for an expensive delivery.

Chef Sohini Banerjee, who has developed her own range of chutneys with South Asian ingredients specialist Fudco, said many of her friends were choosing more versatile condiments such as pickles and chutneys over those that traditionally go with just the one type of meal.

But she said there should still be a space in every store cupboard for a trusty bottle of HP.

She added: ‘It’s got a bit of tamarind, a bit of sugar. Often I’ll reach for it if I’m looking to add a bit of sweetness or saltiness to a meal, such as a pasta sauce. If a dish needs an umami kick, I’m willing to use a brown sauce or ketchup.’

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