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As a result of globalisation, in the past decade, consumers in the West have become accustomed to new aromatic flavours and sauces; more specifically those from Pan Asian cuisine. Traditionally these sauces are associated with unhealthy ingredients and chemicals such as MSG.
In recent years, market research has identified a shift in consumer eating habits. There has been a move toward healthier diets and more natural products with fewer chemicals, creating an opening on the shelves for a healthier alternative to the sauces currently available.
Lisa Tse, the CEO of Sweet Mandarin and SM Sauces, first identified the demand for the product range from the customers at her family’s award winning restaurant and cookery school in Manchester. Lisa commented “We often heard time and time again that our customers with severe and mild allergies that they had not eaten a Chinese meal for over 5-6 years since their diagnosis.”
After appearing on the UK TV show Dragon’s Den, September 2012, Lisa and her twin sister Helen secured an investment of £50,000 in return for a 40 percent stake. Backed by Dragons Duncan Bannatyne and Hilary Devey the sisters began bottling the sauces her family had been producing for over four generations.
The sauces success can be attributed to their individuality, particularly in that they exclude many of the commonly used ingredients without compromising on taste. The unique recipe which is gluten free and does not contain any MSG, artificial colourings or preservatives makes the sauces suitable for those consumers looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional sauces as well as those following a gluten free, kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian, nut free and dairy free diet.
Since the show the sisters and their sauces have seen great success. Some of the sauces have won awards including ‘Free From’ for the Satay and Hoi Sin sauce and the ‘Grocery Cupboard’ for the Sweet Chilli, which was also, recognised at Anuga in their Wellness awards.
Additionally, the Queen mentioned that the sauces were “special” after being used at her dinner parties to meet the needs of guests with allergies.
The entire range of nine sauces is KLBD Kosher certified. The kosher certification is consistent with the sauces brand message: high quality and fully inclusive to all consumers. The sauces are currently stocked in major retailers around the UK including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Holland and Barrett and Whole Foods
The range includes:
- Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce
- Gluten Free Sweet Chilli Sauce
- Gluten Free Barbecue Sauce
- Gluten Free Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Gluten Free Blackbean Sauce
- Gluten Free Cantonese OK Sauce
- Gluten Free Wasabi Sauce
- Gluten Free Sriracha Hot Sauce
- Gluten Free Nut Free Satay Sauce