Made with 91% New Zealand fruit & veges, our naturally sweetened better tomato sauce is sweetened with just New Zealand pear & juice concentrate.
Barker's Sweetened with Fruit & Veges Tomato Sauce is a great tasting family sauce that you feel good about putting on the table - made with heaps of NZ tomatoes but 50% less sugar and 30% less salt than the market-leading sauce. A traditional home-made style tomato sauce that delivers true Kiwi flavour.
• Gluten free
• New Zealand tomatoes
• Made in New Zealand
• No refined sugar
• No added preservatives, artificial colours or flavours
• Vegan friendly
Shake before use. Refrigerate after opening.
If your household is anything like ours, then the perennial family favourite condiment is tomato sauce. It can tempt some of the most reluctant palate's into trying more exotic and unusual dishes, and is the perfect accompaniment to some traditional family favourites as well. I was really excited to see that Barker's of Geraldine, makers of some of my most favourite condiments, had launched a range of tomato sauces. In particular, this version which was a more traditional sauce with fruit and veges really appealed to this Mum trying her best to reduce the sugar content of our family diet.
The first huge positive of this bottle of sauce is the glass bottle. It is so difficult to find condiments which aren't in plastic now, and so this glass bottle really bucks the trend. Easily reusable or recyclable, and also giving a more premium feel, the bottle also has the added bonus of keeping the contents cold, even if it has been out of the fridge for a little while. The packaging on the bottle, as always with products from Barker's, is truly helpful. Advertising that it has 30% less sugar and 30% less salt than the market leading brand also really grabbed my attention. I always look for ways to keep my family happy whilst being a little healthier, and this looked like it could tick all of the boxes. I also noted that the sauce was 91% fruit and vege- a huge percentage. Looking at the ingredients, the majority of that is tomatoes, but also pear and carrot juice make an appearance to add some additional sweetness, as well as nutrients. The rest of he ingredients were all things I would find in my pantry, so this is definitely like you would produce for yourself at home.
With all of those positives from the package alone, we were dying to have a taste. Our first experience was alongside home-made fish and chips for a weekend dinner. The sauce is beautifully tangy, and definitely more like a home-style sauce. It holds together well, and is not overly thin or thick. It paired beautifully with both the fish and chips, having a great flavour, whilst not totally overpowering anything. The pear and carrot provide just the right amount of sweetness, making a really well-rounded sauce. The true test, of course, was that both my 4 year old and 2 year old ate it with gusto, even commenting that they preferred this sauce to our regular one,
We also tried this to accompany steak sandwiches, mixed in with mayonnaise and tuna to make a wonderful seafood sauce, and as the base of a marinade for pork ribs. The extra tang of this sauce really makes it stand out, and never once did we miss the sugar or salt.
Overall a fantastic choice for both the health of your family, and the health of the earth. Why wouldn't you switch? Barker's has hit it out of the park once again with this delicious sauce.
We go through sauce like crazy in this house it's insane. The kids love sauce on lots of things and want to add it to almost everything, I'm very aware how much crap and sugar is in sauce. I love barkers ptoductsxso sgrn the sauces came out I wanted to give them a go, then I spotted a fruit and veges added one along with 50% less sugar and a drop in salt by 30%, I never even thought about salt in sauce so that's a bonus drop for us.
I love it's in a glass bottle and easier to clean out than the plastic squeeze bottles we already get. Its easy for the kids to use but it does come out a bit fast for them so end up with more on the food and plate than neeeded. The label is bright and tells you everything you need to know about the sauce. The bottle is perfect for reusing with I make my pasta sauces aswell.
When I put some on the kids plate none battered an eyelid, guessing they difnt notice I changed their sauce and bonus I knew they were getting good stuff in them with less sugar. Hubby however wouldn't try it he saw the fruits and vege words and less sugar but I will trick him one day. Me I tried it and didn't like it and I'm guessing its because I'm so use to the sweet tasting sauce with sugar so it will take some getting use too. I used it in a sweet n sour sauce I make and didn't taste any difference which is good, meant my meal had fruit and veges without knowing.
The price is a bit out of out budget as we buy the cheap dollar tins. With the amount of sauce the kids use I will be paying this twice a month which honestly not worth stuffing the budget up for, if we have spare money I might splash out for it. It's a great sauce and I will recommend it but just hit something we can do at the moment.
Tomato Sauce is a funny thing - we buy it almost weekly - but I am honestly unsure where it gets used. Unless I actually open the bottle - I find that if I am actually wanting any it is usually pretty much emptied. We are creatures of habit and as both my husband and I were brought up on one particular brand we have stuck to it pretty religiously - until now. I have found with two review items from Barker's and our usual brand, that everyone gravitated to this particular flavour when given the choice.
I really like that the bottle is recyclable and that once actually finished it will be an easy clean unlike the plastic bottles we are used to. Also because of the unique shape of the bottle it will come in handy for future craft projects as the label can be removed. The label itself is bright and catchy and you are drawn to the fact it is 50% less sugar and 30% less salt which is actually a bonus. A beautiful luscious and vibrant tomato is next to nutrition and ingredients information. All up the label grabs your attention.
The first taste experience we had was with Hot Dogs and Chips. We had used the Homestyle version earlier and was surprised at how watery substance it was so when I poured this over the hot dog and chips I was relieved at how much chunkier it was. The next thing we noticed was the taste and you notice it has a fuller taste to it and a richness in it. You can also smell a yummy smokey flavour of tomato coming thru - everyone agreed it was a welcome change and we all enjoyed.
I found it added to the meal and I really liked the taste especially when added to luncheon sandwich and home made potato top pies. It pours easily and does not over power the dish instead adding flavour to it. Unfortunately, as with our usual brand it is pretty much finished after only a week - even though there were two other options available. As the lid is rather large I found there was no real portion control and the girls could both get a little zealous with using it. Even when my husband made cheese puffs both girls used sauce instead of butter and covered the puff in them.
I can definitely seeing us buying this one again. It potentially could replace our normal purchase. A nice pleasant surprise.
I enjoy the inventiveness of the Barker's of Geraldine brand. Taking full advantage of the New Zealand love of novelty, they use the opportunity to experiment with new products and varieties, especially looking at different flavour combinations. Whether it is popular or not, they keep trying new things, and I hope that that spirit never disappears from the brand.
I was curious to try this product because I love my tomato sauce. My mother used to buy a 2L bottle of Whitlocks Tomato Chutney Sauce every week, just for me. It went on pasta, curry, meat, stirfry, and of course deep fried goodies like chips, hotdogs, and samosas. I'd be ignorant if I said as an adult that I was unaware of how much sugar is in tomato sauce. I'm certainly aware, but for me, the flavour will always win out over healthiness. It wasn't the reduced salt that appealed to me, it was that this product had no refined sugar, instead, replacing the sweetness by adding carrots and pears(!) to the mix. Healthier, and a different type of flavour? Could be a winner.
The sauce comes in a large jar. The shape is handy for keeping in the fridge. It holds a good volume but is still that right height to not take up loads of space in the fridge. the fact that this comes in a jar is both a positive and negative for me. I like that it isn't plastic--for environmental reasons--making it a product that creates less waste. On the other hand, this is a jar with a large mouth, that is going to require a lot of wiping to keep clean, and will always end up pouring more sauce than you need.
But the flavour is obviously more important. And you can certainly taste the sweetness of the carrots within the sauce. The presence of the pear is less noticeable but likely lightens the flavour, as the carrots can be a very dense flavour, and this sauce does not feel too heavy. The consistency is good but does have an oily vinegary presence around the edges of the sauce, so it is important to make sure that you thoroughly shake the bottle each time before use.
The vinegar is the aspect that will truly make-or-break this product, and it all comes down to whether you enjoy the vinegar flavour or not. Because the function of the refined sugar is to mellow out the harshness of the vinegar. Without that sugar present, when I dunked my fried chips in the sauce, it tasted as if my British father had doused my chips in vinegar prior. the vinegar becomes a very prominent part of the flavour, rather than just adding sharpness to the tomato flavour.
That's what it comes down to. If you enjoy the flavour of vinegar, then you will love this product. A tomato sauce, that has a slightly different flavour thanks to the carrots, no refined sugar, and a hearty dose of vinegar flavour. I'm not a huge fan of vinegar myself and struggle with apple cider vinegar drinks, so this was certainly not one of my favourite flavours. Not something I'll tip out, or not use if it is provided to me, but it isn't something I'll personally be looking to purchase again.
I really like the idea of a sauce that has been produced without added sugar - the sweetness in this sauce is provided by the fructose naturally occurring in the carrots, pears and tomatoes used in the mix. All three are naturally sweet; in fact, we found that this sauce is slightly sweeter than regular tomato sauces - more like a pickle in flavour. Not only is this variety better for your teeth, it is also better as a healthy alternative to traditional recipes.
We thought it would be equally suitable for adults and children. The taste is not too intense so it would be acceptable to a wide range of palates. We tried it both ways: we used it with a meal of pork chops served with diced persimmons and stir-fried vegetables, and with the venison sausages, onions and capers we had for dinner the following day. These were both meals for just the adults and we found the sauce complemented both meats nicely. Venison, like all game, is good with a fruity accompaniment, and with the pork we found fresh persimmon a good alternative to the more traditional apple sauce.
For the children on these two occasions we had battered hot dogs on sticks, and fish fingers. We asked them to try the sauce with both these dishes and got the thumbs up from the pair of them both times. Because they appeared to like it, we tried some cheerios on toothpicks for a snack and let them help themselves to the sauce. Miss Eight liked it served this way, but Mr Ten thought it was a bit sweet and said he would prefer his usual sauce with the cocktail sausages. Although I don't think he would have realised if he had not seen the bottle first! They allowed us to put a dash into their baked beans on toast; apparently that was a good idea because they both asked for second helpings.
Like other Barker's products, the sauce is packaged in a glass bottle - an environmentally sound option, and also better for the preservation of the product quality. I have noticed that sauce packaged in plastic bottles tends to lose its flavour whereas glass allows quality to be maintained right up to the last drop. It is also easier to see the contents so you know when it is time to go for a new bottle. The label is funky although the lighter print is a little hard to read; I needed to hold it under a strong light to be able to see all the information. And size wise it is just right to fit on to a fridge shelf without taking up too much space - so altogether, a good design for a new product.
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