Cooking and pasta sauces in Germany: naturalness and authenticity are key

March 2, 2020
3 min read

According to Mintel’s latest German report on cooking and pasta sauces, over half of consumers in Germany use cooking and pasta sauces only as emergency solutions, as most of them prefer to cook them up from scratch. But what does this mean for brands and manufacturers? While brands will still want to make the most of going after the emergency meal occasion, they should also appeal beyond this in order to increase the usage frequency of cooking sauces.

Authenticity and naturalness are high in demand

Knowing the ingredients and having control over the salt and fat content are the main reasons why Germans prefer to prepare sauces themselves, which is also why they see self-cooked sauces as healthier options to prepared ones. This is especially the case when it comes to sauces with longer ingredient lists, with manufacturers having the opportunity to develop more natural products that emphasise the shorter preparation time.

Authentic recipes can also play an important role to increase the attractiveness of prepared cooking and pasta sauces. Thinking of Italian pasta sauces, manufacturers could shine higher importance on their regionality and their similarity to homemade sauces. Frozen or chilled products could potentially help underline these messages, as they provide a fresher locked-in taste.

To target the three out of four Germans who would like to see a bigger offer of healthier options to prepared cooking and pasta sauces, manufacturers and brands could also think of variants with higher vegetable contents and healthy fats. As Mintel research further reveals, many Germans always check the nutritional content of cooking and pasta sauces they haven’t used before. Following the clean eating trend, that promotes a healthier diet with less processed foods, companies have to rethink the image of their products in order to drive sales.


Alce Nero Tomato Sauce with Legumes features an organic recipe with tomatoes from the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, legumes and extra virgin olive oil.

Explore new culinary worlds

Although cooking sauces from different cultural areas are still relatively niche in the German market, many German consumers are curious to try a greater variety of international cooking products. Cooking sauces offer a great way to introduce consumers to a new world of flavours and recipes from other countries and cultures. That being said, manufacturers and brands don’t necessarily have to travel far; a bigger variety of local sauces could also appeal to German consumers. Authenticity and original local flavours are the common denominator of both local and exotic offers – opening them up to new flavours from inside and outside of Germany.

Maggi Cancún Inspired Seasoning Mix has been made with natural, typical Mexican market inspired ingredients, including jalapeños, chipotles, cocoa and sea salt and can be used for dips, marinates, cooking or seasoning.


For new product development of cooking and pasta sauces, it will be essential to refine their naturalness and authenticity. In doing so, manufacturers can look at food service and develop products that emulate sauces from restaurants. Last but not least, we should remember that consumers like to eat at home what they have already tried at restaurants.

In general, brands and manufacturers will have to prove that their cooking and pasta sauces taste just like homemade recipes, if they want to convince consumers to spend more on their products. A strong positioning and brand message on-packaging as well as in advertising will be needed to explain which added value those cooking and pasta sauces provide.

Heidi Lanschuetzer
Heidi Lanschuetzer

With over 10 years’ experience in the research industry, Food & Drink Analyst Heidi writes about consumer and market trends across multiple categories in several European countries, in particular Germany.

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