Synergy sauces target ethnic food demand

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Curry Synergy

Synergy has developed a range of curry pastes for ready meals,
soups and sauces designed to tap the growing demand for ethnic

The company, a division of Carbery, claims that its new range of ingredients delivers strong flavour profiles, and provides a one-stop solution for authentic curry tastes that eliminates the need for multiple spices and ingredients.

They are also free from acetic or citric acid present in many traditional pastes, enabling valuable clean label declaration.

"Our new premium curry pastes provide the ideal solution for manufacturers looking to tap into the growing market for ethnic food,"​ said John Godwin, Synergy's savoury ingredients commercial director.

"Easy to store and use, they deliver an authentic flavour, which can be tailor-made to individual specifications. The curry pastes offer many flavour and quality advantages over traditional products and ensure clean label declarations."

This is a sector that is becoming increasingly significant. In the US for example, the largest market for ethnic food, spending on ethnic food has grown at an average annual rate of 4.9 per cent over the last five years, and is forecast to continue growing well above the overall food market's growth.

Ethnic food has also experienced a popularity explosion in Europe over the last five years. Average annual growth has been running at 14 per cent, far higher than the US 5 per cent, and is expected to continue at a fast rate between now and 2009, according to Business Insights.

The UK remains the prime market. Ethnic food sales of $2.6bn make up more than half the entire European market. Indian food is the second most popular ethnic food after Chinese, driven largely by its enormous popularity in the UK, though other Asian food segments are growing fast.

It is this burgeoning market that Synergy hopes to target, by appealing to consumer demands for exciting exotic food that is also healthy.

The company said that the ingredients are mixed and ground in the EU rather than being pre-ground. The spices are fried and cooked together with other natural ingredients. Synergy said that this cooking stage eradicates the need for additional flavourings or acids to control pH levels and maximise shelf life.

Typical ingredients are tamarind paste - a combination of spices, herbs, oil, onion, garlic and tomato.

The new range is also designed of course to appeal to manufacturers. The idea is that the pastes provide all the herbs and spices needed in a curry sauce, reducing the amount of raw materials required and avoiding the risk of selection and weighing errors.

"This results in an authentic paste containing only store cupboard-type ingredients,"​ claimed the company.

The range consists of the most popular Indian curry flavours, including mild curry, biryani, tandoori, madras, Balti, rogan josh and korma, as well as new Thai Red, Green and Mussaman curries.

Synergy is Carbery's new savoury ingredients and flavours business. This division was established last year to enable the dairy ingredients giant to tap growing demand for added-value products, and provide a one-stop-shop for manufacturers.

Carbery began expanding in 1998 with the acquisition of two flavour houses, Synergy Flavours and US Flavours and Fragrances. The company also acquired UK savoury ingredients company Customblend.

In November 2005, these added-value ingredient-focused companies were brought under the Synergy brand, along with Carbery's brewer's and lactic yeast-based flavour production.

Synergy now has production, R&D and technical facilities in Europe and the USA.

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