Belgium is renowned for its mayonnaise, but were you also aware of fact that the country also offers a wide variety of other sauces? In addition, we are continuing to innovate, including with special sauces that go with vegetable dishes for instance. David Marquenie is the secretary general of CULINARIA, the Belgian association of soup and sauce producers. David has the full low-down on everything we should know about those delicious Belgian sauces.
What makes Belgian sauces unique?
“The fact that Belgium makes the tastiest mayonnaise is a matter of common knowledge the world round. But there is a lot more to Belgian sauces than just mayo. In addition, Belgian producers supply a wealth of sauces that is unsurpassed. For each dish, there is at least one sauce that is the perfect accompaniment. The sauce makers keep a finger on the pulse of the latest developments in the culinary landscape, enabling them to respond with new condiments. This wide diversity of flavours is one of the biggest strengths of the Belgian sauce producers.”
What are the main developments in the sector?
“When it comes to food products, the main focus in recent years is often seen to go out to the traditional element: authentic recipes made in time-honoured tradition, using only natural ingredients. Needless to say these products are equally required to meet all expectations held out by consumers in the areas of quality, food safety and unrivalled taste!
The expanding organic product assortment is another development that has not gone unnoticed: most companies in the industry have included one or several organic variants in their product range. We are also witnessing changing eating habits in consumers, with a trend towards more vegetables and less meat. This too is something our businesses are quick to pick up on, with sauces that are purpose-developed to be enjoyed with vegetables.”
How do you see the industry’s continued growth over the years ahead?
“The broad variety of our offering and the flexibility of our businesses to develop and produce this wide assortment are two of the industry’s major strengths. For one thing, there are a lot of foreign markets where the offering of cold sauces (mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard) is rather limited, leaving plenty of room for us to introduce our numerous other varieties. For another thing, the Belgian sauce companies able to leverage their substantial flexibility to land new contracts: they have the capacity to act in very quick response to a changing market, formulate specific recipes for their customers and supply the sauces in any number of different quantities.”
To find out more about the Belgian sauces and spices industry, please contact David Marquenie, CULINARIA secretary general.