Ketchup vs mayo – what’s your favourite condiment?

by , Conversation Editor Consumer Rights 14 March 2013
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Putting salt and pepper to one side, there’s one condiment that most Brits love to add to their food. They cover their chips with it, some even have it with every meal. So which popular sauce am I talking about?

Tomato ketchup and mayonnaise

Mayonnaise. Surprised? I am. In a recent poll by discount site NetVoucherCodes, Hellman’s mayonnaise squeezed out Heinz tomato ketchup to become the nation’s favourite condiment.

It was a close one, with mayo getting 23% of the vote to ketchup’s 22%, but I’m still shocked. Mayonnaise? Really? One of the voters explained:

‘Mayo is so versatile. You couldn’t put ketchup on both your chips and your salad could you?’

My answer to that is… why are you putting mayo on your chips!? Or your salad, for that matter? Look, I respect that the traditional ingredients for mayo don’t go much beyond oil and egg, but that’s not going to make me enjoy the white gloop you spoon out of a jar.

I’d be happier to dip my chips in Marmite to be honest. In fact, a few of the voters chose Marmite as their favourite condiment, but the meanies at NetVouchersCode disqualified the black gold, as ‘Marmite is a spread’.

Mad about mayo?

As you might have noticed, I can’t help but ooze hate for mayo, and I’ve had a good old rant about it before now. ‘What has mayo ever done to you?’, Mr Mayo might ask. ‘Nothing, it just happens to be in every shop-bought sandwich,’ I’d reply. ‘Well, you couldn’t put ketchup in a shop-bought sandwich, could you?’ Mr Mayo would retort. ‘No, and nor would I want to, but stop forcing yourself on me!’ I’d snap.

And although I wouldn’t want tomato sauce in a sandwich (unless it was in a bacon butty), for me it’s the answer to all ailments. In the past I was even known to splodge it on my Sunday roast, eliciting a raised eyebrow from my next of kin. I’ve grown out of that now, but it’s still my sauce of choice, and I’m surprised the rest of Britain isn’t with me. Are you with me?

Which of these condiments do you like (multiple choice)?

Tomato ketchup (67%, 1,109 Votes)

Mayonnaise (65%, 1,070 Votes)

Mustard (65%, 1,064 Votes)

Mint sauce (62%, 1,014 Votes)

Vinegar (59%, 972 Votes)

Apple sauce (54%, 895 Votes)

Tartare sauce (53%, 877 Votes)

Worcestershire sauce (53%, 876 Votes)

Pickle (53%, 875 Votes)

Chutney (53%, 865 Votes)

Brown sauce (51%, 839 Votes)

Horseradish (47%, 767 Votes)

Cranberry sauce (46%, 755 Votes)

Salad cream (40%, 659 Votes)

Chilli/hot sauce (35%, 568 Votes)

Relish (25%, 411 Votes)

Other – tell us in the comments (5%, 78 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,643

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Add your comments



Garlic mayonnaise


Nikki Whiteman

Chutney is vastly underrated – who could resist a nice strong cheddar on a biscuit with a little bit of chutney? Heaven.

I’m also a big fan of wholegrain mustard, especially if you add a good spoonful to macaroni cheese – trust me, it’s delicious!



Which? sort of establishment is this, not even offering black pepper, that wonderful condiment that can do so much for food. Bin the mayonnaise (and tartare sauce, which is just mayonnaise in disguise) and let us have black pepper – please.

Pass the wholegrain mustard, Nikki. I’ll have some of your chutney too, but not at the same time.

Sorry, I knew salt and pepper would be popular picks so I put them to one side. I’m thinking more about your saucy condiments than your seasonings. I’m a big fan of black pepper too – as long as it’s not the powdery stuff!



I have to add extra virgin olive oil to the list – it makes even a boring salad tastier, especially when you add vinegar too. An idea I picked up when living in Greece.

I did think about adding oil as I do have vinegar in there, but I’ll leave it for people to tell us in the comments now.


Malcolm R

Home made parsley sauce with white fish – lots of parsley. Perhaps not a sauce, but sieved lightly poached plums with duck.

Pleased to see ketchup is topping the poll. But I have to say, pickle and chutney make great condiments with cheese!



I’m with you on the mayonnaise rant, Patrick. In a cafe in New Zealand I requested an omelet and was disgusted when it arrived with a half inch layer of mayonnaise on top. When I asked why they did it they said “Everybody has mayonnaise on their omelet”

However, another NZ joint, Burger Fuel, introduced me to Garlic Aioli as a dip for chips. It’s quite nice, provided it has a LOT of garlic.

Oh, and every time someone from NZ comes over to visit me it is mandatory they bring me several cans of Watties Tomato Sauce.



Most condiments are added to prepared food to suit individuals, whether this is because of preference or for health reasons (e.g. avoiding salt). I object to the fact that so many products contain mayonnaise or dressings based on mayonnaise. It is a challenge to find a sandwich without it. For years there has been pressure to decrease the amount of salt in food, but many products still contain too much. Why not provide sachets to that people can please themselves?

I have no problem with tomato ketchup being the most popular condiment (according to the survey so far) since it’s always an extra rather than included in food.

One of my favourite condiments is remoulade, Danish style. It’s very tasty with chips, fish, and most other foods I’ve tried it with. It’s got more body in it than most other sauces, and it’s a good partner for ketchup.


Gavin Cox

I like food with my condiments! Not the other way round those take away sachets are hopeless I need the bottle or the jar and a big spoon
Very difficult to choose just one favourite but if I could only have one it would have to be a Dijon mustard



Hmmm. If you would like to cut down on the amount of condiments you use, I have heard that Insanity Sauce will do the trick. :-)


Gavin Cox

How that’s a sauce I’d like to try !


John Ward

I suppose that comes from the opposite side of the world from the Source of the Seine.



I’ve not tried Insanity Sauce. I believe it is a very hot chilli sauce and – somewhat appropriately – I was introduced to it by a psychiatrist. Off-duty, I hasten to add.



Reggae Reggae Sauce puts music in your food! yummmmmmmmmmm

Good pick. Tried it once, liked it, forgot to go back.


Julie Shrive

Have been using soy sauce in cooking & after find it a good alternative to salt likewise marmite/bovril & stock cubes. . Best of all is fresh garlic & ginger & herbs .Cinnamon & nutmeg


joyce giblin

Unbeatable hot sauces… Levi Roots


Peter Galloway

Don’t forget bread sauce woth roast poultry

I can’t believe Ketchup has dropped down the poll, with mayo and mustard on top. Help make ketchup king!



Only like HP brown sauce and only on sausages and eggs. Like olive oil on salads and that is about it!


Malcolm R

I like HP sauce – then looked at M&S brown sauce at half the price. and I’m a convert.



I don’t like any of them, I like my food uncontaminated and I wish that stores would stop putting mayo in just about every sandwich!!!

I’m with you there Wendy. No more mayo in sandwiches



Mushroom ketchup added to the pan gives more depth to the flavours of stews and hotpots.


pauline wilson

i like sweet chilli sauce great on salads and in wraps with chinese chicken



it is Worcestershire Sauce – not Worcester Sauce!

Nicely spotted, fixed now. Are you a fan?



onion marmalade :)


Kath McKevitt

I like baby beet root with a meal-preferably Baxters!


David Wackett

Balsamic vinegar, particularly the “aged” form is delightful in small quantities and so different from “vinegar” that it deserves its own category


john holmes

French’s mustard
white pepper


Alan George Barstow

I cannot live without Soy sauce (both dark and light) in my cooking and as a condiment on Chinese food. My all-time favourite barbecue sauce is unfortunately not available in Europe. Australia’s “Big Rick’s” barbecue sauce has no peer. It is simply sensational and I would smuggle a shipload of it into the UK (and Sweden, where I now live) if I had the resources!



When viewed using Safari on my Mac, Mustard, Mint sauce, Chutney and Pickle are highlighted in bold italic, whereas the rest of the options are in plain text. This does not happen when I use Firefox or Chrome. Have I found a new bug?

I could have understood if Apple sauce had been highlighted.

I don’t think that’s a bug, I think those are the options you voted for.



Thanks Patrick. Sometimes the obvious passes me by. :-)

And condiments to Malcolm for his pun.

Sorry, I was a little slow to ketchup with that pun.


Malcolm R

On my Explorer they are all in bold italic except chilli/hot sauce in plain text. It’s probably to do with the software sauce code.

Is hot sauce the only one you didn’t vote for?



Ah, Explorer – the mayonnaise of the browser world. Popular but not good.


Malcolm R

Patrick – too far back, but in all probability yes. Sorry about the poor attempt at a joke.



Nothing beats Henderson’s Relish!

Lavish it over pies, sausage and mash, cooked breakfasts and cheese on toast. Pour healthy glugs of it into soups and stews. Use it to spice up a gravy. Just some of the uses of this delicious condiment!

Buy special editions in the colours of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday!



Creamy garlic mayonnaise



Yes, garlic mayo is divine. Also Bernaise sauce, and Hollandaise of course.



Both premium Oyster Sauce and premiun ShaohShing
rice wine I couldn’t do without that I add to all dishes
save and except any white fish dishes maybe balsamic
vinegar excepting… for curries, adding coconut milk is
a must in most but not all cases.

Like Mayo too in sandwiches.



You didn’t include Mango chutney – it’s a must with curry ,boiled ham or in sandwiches!

Yes, I love mango chutney! Please vote ‘chutney’ – there’s so many, I couldn’t include them all.


Malcolm R

Piccalilli – lovely with ham and cheese.


Alan George Barstow

Branston pickle (especially the small chunks) is irreplaceable with sausage, egg, chips and beans,

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