FAS FEATURE: U.S. Hot Sauces Bring Heat to Ag Trade

Hot Sauce Bar, partnered with USDA Osaka to introduce Japanese consumers to 16 high-quality sauces.

U.S. Hot Sauces Bring Heat to Ag Trade

In honor of National Hot Sauce Day on January 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is celebrating a category of U.S. food exports that come in small packages but pack a lot of flavors and often heat – condiments and sauces. Believe it or not, these ingredients that are tucked away in your cabinet and pantry and overflowing on the inside of your refrigerator door are part of a billion-dollar U.S. export industry.

In 2021, the export of U.S.-made condiments and sauces was valued at $2 billion, a 67-percent increase from just a decade ago when exports totaled $1.2 billion. Kitchen staples in your homes, U.S. condiments and sauces like mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing, have grown in popularity around the world.

But it’s not just traditional American condiments that are enticing and tingling tastebuds across the globe. When it comes to other sauces and prep ingredients, like BBQ sauce, cheese sauce, hummus, dipping sauce, and especially hot sauce, U.S. exports are heating up. Over the past 10 years, U.S. exports of these sauces and prep ingredients increased 81 percent, from $395.1 million in 2012 to $715.7 million in 2021. The top three U.S. export markets in 2021 for sauces and prep ingredients were Canada, Mexico, and Japan, with the markets valued at $223.8 million, $132.9 million, and $30.3 million, respectively.

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