Dips and spreads continue to grow in sales and market opportunities


Capture an expanding market with vibrant new flavors

What are chips without dip? Crackers and breads without spreads? Consumers will say one demands the other, which is why cream cheese-based spreads are up more than 12 percent in the last five years, and refrigerated dips and spreads continue to dominate the market. What’s behind the numbers?

  • The line between snacks and meals is blurring, with almost every consumer saying they have a snack — such as chips and dip — daily.
  • Dips fit nicely into the small-bites segment of “permissible indulgence” marketing around low-sugar, plant-based options.
  • Dips and spreads add flavor, zest and international flair to ordinary dishes, spurring consumers to use them in many ways.

“Younger consumers are major dip purchasers, and while salsa is still a favorite, refrigerated and shelf-stable dips, hummus and dry dip mixes are gaining ground.”

Convenience is important, clean labeling even more so

Dips and spreads are longtime kitchen staples for everyday meals and snacking, as well as for entertaining friends and neighbors. As they become more valued for what they can do to spice up menus, consumers are looking for unique., natural ingredients they can feel good about.

Sensient Natural Ingredients’ global network of growers provides the widest variety of natural, organic ingredients. Work with our team to transform your line of dips and spreads into something that has long-lasting consumer appeal and value.

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Clean Label Capsicums Offer Multiple Avenues for Exciting Flavor Delivery


In the United States, ethoxyquin is a commonly used synthetic antioxidant for chili powder, paprika and ground chili to preserve color and extend product shelf life. However, ethoxyquin appears on many “no-no” lists as an unacceptable food ingredient and is not permitted as food additive for certified organic products.

Finding out whether a food product is truly “clean” is only a few taps away on a consumer’s smartphone. Today’s buyers are savvy, and they value brands that meet their labeling desires up front, with no surprises or gimmicks. So food manufacturers and brand owners have to overcome the challenge - to meet consumers’ demand for natural and clean-label products without sacrificing finished products’ flavor, appearance or shelf life.

Since the 1990s, we have offered a “none added” option for paprika, chili peppers and chili powders where we simply leave color preservative like ethoxyquin out of our clean label capsicum products. In recent years, the demand for our clean label capsicums has increased as spicy foods become hugely popular with Millennials and other consumers thanks to their love of heat, which in turn drives up overall demand for capsicums. More importantly, we are seeing additional manufacturers start sourcing capsicums with no ethoxyquin added in response to consumers’ needs.

Lack of preservatives can shorten product shelf life since pigment oxidation can have a direct impact on the appearance of finished products containing capsicums. An option we currently have available for our clean-label paprika line is the addition of rosemary extract, a natural antioxidant, together with rice hulls instead of silicon dioxide for anticaking purposes. 

Since color lost in paprika and red chili peppers is due to oxidation of carotenoids, the natural pigments responsible for the orange/red color of chili peppers, instead we can formulate with green chili peppers to avoid the need for antioxidants altogether. We have seen a tremendous growth in our green chili varietals like jalapeño and the New Mexico HATCH™ Chile.

In addition to the various clean label offerings, Sensient Natural Ingredients also leads the way when it comes to overseeing and controlling the entire growing process, from partnering with growers who use exceptional quality control in the fields all the way to and through the processing sites.

For more information and to request a sample, please visit: https://sensientnaturalingredients.com/request-a-sample/.


Bigger, bolder, better: Consumers leaning toward spicier foods


Fun, flavorful food with some heat is capturing palates and market share

Trying to grab some of the Millennial market? Then offer food (and sometimes beverages) that bring together a sense of adventure and a taste that’s unusual — with a kick! Along with other consumers (both older and younger), this sometimes-finicky crowd is looking for:

  • Spice. It can be heat or a fuller flavor, such as that provided by New Mexico’s HATCH™ Chili Pepper.
  • Traceability. Transparent, sourceable ingredients that tie into the clean-label trend.
  • Convenience. Singles, couples and families are embracing meal kits and delivery services. They want exciting combinations prepared for them so they don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

“Consumers love the idea of restaurant-style appetizers and menu items that they can prepare and enjoy at home. Spicy, smoked flavors provide the artisanal touch they seek and are willing to pay for.”

Adventurous palates mean brand loyalty if the flavor’s on target

Go beyond hot. Delve into what spice is all about by creating robust, unmistakable flavors that meld sweet with heat, smoky with sweet and more. Don't just aim to be the next Sriracha; create the sauces, condiments, snacks and entrees that will drive consumer interest and result in robust sales.

Whether it’s garlic, onions, chili peppers or other natural vegetables, herbs and spices, Sensient Natural Ingredients has the palette of ingredients to add heat, spice, flavor and sizzle to your products. Let our team consult with yours to create flavors that take you in a whole new direction.