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The GCC’s favourite sauce pairing to complete a recipe.

October 8, 2020

To many around the world, no meal is complete without condiments. A burger or salad’s sauce could make or break a meal. It could also be key factor when selecting a restaurant for a quick bite. Different types of condiments enhance a meal’s tasting experience, and while cooking trends remain consistent, sauce preferences change quite a bit and in a very fast-changing manner.

While the demand for sauces and dippings increases, we used Sila, our audience-first in-house data analysis tool to look at the GCC’s favourite sauce pairing.


Overall, sauces have been seeing an increased popularity in 2020. With Ramadan x COVID lockdown periods witnessing the highest spikes. May 2020 saw the most mentions, engagements and video views (doubling from February) with users purchasing and using their own dippings at home to match them with their favourite home-made meals.

Overall sauces in the GCC

Moreover, we matched some of our favourite meals with the most mentioned sauces, and the results were as follows.

Sandwiches x sauces in the G.C.C

Ramadan 2019 and COVID lockdown + Ramadan 2020 are key seasons where usage in digital recipes increased by over 100% during both periods. A standout moment for mayo was in May 2019 when usage quadrupled that of any other particular sauce in sandwiches. 

Although still popular with burgers, mustard consistently comes in second with a 75% increase from post-Ramadan 2019 to July 2020.  Consistency of BBQ sauce recipes varies, matching mayo in March 2020. 

This is merely a snapshot of the power of Sila and how it forms the basis of our decision-making for our food clients.  

sauces x sandwiches in the GCC

Burgers x sauces in the G.C.C

The most used condiments with burgers were analysed and there is a strong interest in the use of Mayonnaise. Between Jan 2019 and Aug 2020, mayonnaise was the most mentioned condiment, with the biggest increase of 85% happening between Jul and Aug 2019. 

Meanwhile, mustard and BBQ sauce come in second and third, respectively.

Noticeably, there is growing interest in mustard during the COVID-19 period, increasing by 30% in April. However, this saw a drop by 71% recently. On the other hand, the interest in ketchup has decreased massively since the last quarter of 2019 dropping by 233% just in the period between Aug and Sep 2019 continuing this drop through 2020. 

sauces x burgers in the GCC

Salads x sauces in the G.C.C

Furthermore, we analysed the mentions of these sauces when paired with salads.

Yet again, the use of mayonnaise prevailed when compared to other condiments. While mentions of mustard continue to grow, and sometimes even overtaking the mentions of mayo (July 2020), it remains just short. May 2020 was the best performing month overall, with almost all the sauces seeing an increase.

BBQ sauce saw a huge growth during September 2019, but slowly dropped again. Other sauces continue their weak performance.

sauces x salads in the GCC

Key Takeaways

After looking at some of the key trends when it comes to condiments within the GCC, it is safe to say that Mayonnaise is the GCC’s favourite sauce pairing across all social media platforms. It is quite noticeable however, that there are minimal or no mentions of healthy alternatives (low-fat, low-sugar etc.). The key focus remains the basic type of sauce.

Ketchup and tomato sauces are losing their popularity while mustard and BBQ sauces seem to be growing within the region.

More about Sila

DA has built a custom data warehouse service called Sila, powered by data science we turn that raw social data into actionable insights. We then turn those insights into effective campaigns for our clients.

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