Sales of brown sauce plunge by nearly a fifth

The sauce, typically made from malt vinegar, tomato, dates, tamarind extract, spices and sweeteners, is a favourite accompaniment for full English breakfasts

Sales of brown sauce have plunged by nearly a fifth, according to market research company Mintel.

The company said brown sauce sales had fallen from 16 million kilograms in 2013 to 13 million last year, The Daily Mirror reported.

Mintel’s senior food analyst Richard Ford said the decline reflected “changing eating habits”.

“The most common reason to forgo table sauces is a typical meal no longer requires them,” he said.

Read more: In defence of brown sauce

The sauce, typically made from malt vinegar, tomato, dates, tamarind extract, spices and sweeteners, is a favourite accompaniment for full English breakfasts and is also used on fish and chips, particularly in Edinburgh.

It was invented in 1895 by Nottingham grocer Frederick Gibson Garton, who named it “HP” after being told it was being sold in the Houses of Parliament.

David Price, of the Tavern Company in South Liverpool where an English breakfast costs £6.95, told the Mirror: “We have a bottle of HP Sauce and a bottle of red sauce on every single table and they both go just as quickly. If we don’t put brown sauce out people ask us ‘where is it?’

“We are selling more brown sauce than ever before. It’s certainly not dribbling away in our restaurant - people still love it.”

However food company Heinz, which owns HP Sauce and the Daddies brand, said Mintel’s figures were “at odds with our data and independent analysis”.

Mintel said sales of table sauces in general had fallen by five per cent with tomato ketchup down by about six per cent and mayonnaise down two per cent.

About 40 per cent of regular sauce users also said they were trying different sauces, such as piri piri and barbecue.

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