Sauce VS Condiment: Difference Between Dip, Sauce, Condiment

Nick Mirev
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    When thinking about condiments, ketchup is often the first thing that comes to mind. However, there are hundreds of different types of condiments. When comparing sauce vs condiment, people often forget that the former is a subcategory of the latter. Since sauces are among the high-demand products in the condiments category, many use the terms condiments and sauces interchangeably. In this article, we’ll share more about the differences between sauces vs condiments. We’ll also compare other categories from this niche market like dips and dressings.

    Key takeaway: In the US, most people associate the term condiment with popular sauces like ketchup and mustard. However, the difference between sauce vs condiment is that sauces are only a subcategory of the whole condiments sector. Other condiment categories include sweet preserves, salt, herbs, and seasoning products.
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    Sauce VS Condiment

    The main difference between sauce vs condiment is that the latter is a broad term that also includes other categories like spice blends, herbs, and sweet preservatives. Both condiments and sauces have multiple applications. They can be used during the cooking process or after the dish is ready to enhance its taste or introduce additional flavors. Sauces are traditionally packaged in squeeze bottles. In restaurants, they can also be served in sauce boats or sauce dishes.

    Are All Sauces Condiments?

    In certain situations, a sauce is not a condiment. For example, in a dish like spaghetti with tomato sauce, the sauce is an integral part of the dish and it’s not a condiment. If we follow the same example, a condiment will be basil leaves on top of the dish. 

    Dip VS Condiment

    There are many similarities between dips and sauces. In fact, most sauces can also be used as dips. For example, you can enjoy your French fries by dipping them in ketchup or aioli. However, not all dips are also sauces. A lot of dips like hummus or guacamole have a creamy texture. That’s why they are not sauces but can still be used as condiments to add flavor to salads or other dishes.

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    Dressing VS Condiment

    The term dressing is commonly associated with salads. That’s especially true for garden salads that use a variety of leafy greens. Most chefs don’t consider salad dressing as part of the condiment category. That’s because they are a crucial part of the salad’s recipe. Ranch dressing is the most popular variety on the market. It's a creamy dressing made from mayonnaise, garlic, onion, buttermilk, salt, and herbs. D2C sales of ranch dressing have increased in recent years as many enjoy it as a dip. Most dressings come in squeeze bottles or glass bottles – condiment containers that are traditionally used for sauces. Here are other popular salad dressings.

    • Vinaigrette. The main ingredients in this dressing are oil and vinegar. It can also include various herbs or other ingredients. There are multiple varieties of vinaigrettes in the US and around the world. 
    • Blue cheese dressing. It combines blue cheese and mayonnaise as the main ingredient. Other optional ingredients include vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, buttermilk, and yogurt.
    • Ginger dressing. It is traditional for East Asian dishes. Its ingredients include rice vinegar, minced garlic and onion, ginger, vegetable oil, and soy sauce. Some sweet varieties also include honey or corn syrup.
    • Caesar dressing. Combining garlic, anchovy paste, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and parmesan will result in a classical Caesar dressing. Although it's commonly associated with the salad, it can also be used as a dip.

    Seasonings VS Condiments

    In some regions of the world, spices and culinary herbs are not considered to be part of the condiment niche. In the US, most people consider them to be a different category. However, they fall under the definition of a condiment – food that is used during or after cooking to add flavor to the dish and cannot be consumed as standalone food. Distributors of bulk condiments often include seasonings in their catalogs. Salt and pepper are often purchased by businesses in bulk at wholesale prices as they are frequently used in cooking and in restaurant condiment holders. However, a lot of businesses prefer to purchase certain spices in small quantities as they are susceptible to moisture and can be difficult to store in large quantities. Furthermore, spices have a high price per pound. That’s why purchasing different herbs and spices in bulk can be a large upfront investment for small businesses in the restaurant industry

    Online Sales of Sauces VS Condiments

    In recent years, there has been a spike in online sales of different condiments. Most notably, a lot of small businesses and startups that focus on hot sauces have introduced their eCommerce stores or sell their products through large third-party online platforms. Nevertheless, offline is still the primary sales channel for all condiments as the majority of consumers purchase them from grocery stores.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Sauce VS Condiment

    Are you a business owner looking for reliable ordering software for your wholesale distribution company? Or perhaps you wish to streamline various processes of your distribution business. Either way, BlueCart is here for you. Our tool helps businesses find suppliers in various sectors and assists wholesalers in their goal to automate tasks like price management and invoicing. In addition to having a variety of useful functionalities in our software solutions, the BlueCart team also shares useful information and tips for managers and entrepreneurs. If you found that article useful, make sure to check the answers to some popular questions regarding the topic of sauce vs condiment.

    What Is Not Considered a Condiment?

    In order to answer that question, we must first understand what are condiments. Although most people associate the term with ketchup and other sauces, the broad definition is everything food product that cannot be consumed on its own and is used to additionally flavor food. So what is not considered a condiment? Products like hummus and guacamole are good examples. Some chefs don’t consider salad dressings to be condiments. That’s because the dressing is a necessary part of the salad. The definition of condiments can vary depending on the culture and the cuisine. In different areas of the world, seasoning products like restaurant spices are considered condiments while in other regions they are treated as a separate food product category.

    What Are the Most Popular Sauces VS Condiments?

    Generally speaking, the most popular condiments are sauces. That includes goods like ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. When comparing sauces vs condiments, other common representatives of the former include tomato, barbecue, Worcester, and soy sauce. Popular condiments that don’t fall under the sauce category include relish, salsa, organic herbs and spices, certain types of no-seed oils, and sweet preservatives like jam or jelly.

    Are Condiment Businesses Profitable?

    Yes. Starting a condiment business can be a profitable endeavor. There is a reason why some of the world-renowned brands in the food and beverage industry are also associated with condiments. Furthermore, as every cuisine has distinct condiments for food, there is a wide array of products that fall under this category. When comparing sauce vs condiment businesses, the former is a better option. That’s because sauces are arguably the most used category of condiments. In addition, a lot of new companies focus on the production of their own sauces with distinct flavors. Hot sauces and other specialty products are among the reasons for the growth in the condiments market.

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