The condiment challenger and one of the UK’s fastest growing condiment manufacturers, the Sauce Shop, is striving to become a household name. From its beginnings selling at Nottinghamshire farmers’ markets, the brand now produces over 50,000 bottles of sauce.

Founded in 2014 with a purpose to create more natural sauces with fewer ingredients and less sugar than traditional sauces on the market, the cofounder saw a gap in the market for craft condiments. Founder James Digva said: “The table sauce category has been crying out for disruption by a craft challenger brand. With consumers choosing more purpose-led brands and really caring about what they put on their plate, Sauce Shop is perfectly placed to challenge the incumbents in the category.”

The Sauce Shop launched the world’s first Brussels Sprout Ketchup in 2019 and joined forces with Amazon to launch a Christmas stuffing inspired ketchup in 2020 available exclusively from Amazon.

The business also has a strong focus on sustainability, with bubble wrap replaced with paper and card packaging for all orders and seaweed shrink bands used to seal bottles in place of plastic ones. The company has achieved carbon neutrality by partnering with Ecologi to plant trees with each order placed through the online store.The Sauce Shop also secured funding backing in 2022 to maintain and expand its retail presence, improve efficiencies at its production facility, and support future expansion.

The brand world always needs challengers. It keeps everyone on their toes and forces innovation – a life blood of branded businesses. This is a great example of a brand determined to carve out a challenger niche. It marries four things. First a focus on delivering product quality (‘We obsess over flavour… …All our products are made in small batches using all-natural ingredients’). Second, the agility to create distinctive and innovative offerings that mainstream players are unlikely to follow – e.g., seasonal flavours. Third, a purpose/attitude that builds authenticity and values and will appeal to lots of potential, especially younger, buyers. Fourth, it is delivered by two real people with passion and commitment (Pam and James). It is not a template for success, but it seems to encapsulate some of the criteria for modern #challengerbrands.