Sales have hovered at $2.6 billion for the past five years, says market research publisher Packaged Facts. As consumers continue to shift from processed to fresh foods, sales are expected to dip to $2.57 billion by 2010 as the refrigerated category continues to decline. Shelf-stable goods should do better despite manufacturer efforts to add "upscale" and "fresh" packaging.
"If you look on the supermarket shelves, right next to the organic pickles, olives, and other marinated condiments, we're seeing healthy competition from ethnic fare, particularly Asian and Hispanic," notes Don Montuori, the publisher of Packaged Facts. "This opens up ethnic demographics as well as Baby Boomers as key targets for manufacturers who want to increase sales by focusing on innovative flavors, greater varieties of premium vegetables, and ethnic-inspired condiments."