Consumers Seek Heat From Unexpected Spicy Foods

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Flavor preferences have changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Classic and nostalgic comfort foods dominated consumer desires when lockdowns began and persisted until 2021but more and more shoppers are looking for more adventurous foods in 2022. According to this year’s Frito-Lay Summer Snack Index, 41% of consumers say they would choose interesting flavor combinations such as spicy and sweet rather than familiar flavors.

“During the summer, people explore new activities, new places and enjoy new flavors of snacks when they attend more outdoor gatherings,” said Mike Del Pozzo, Chief Customer Officer of Frito-Lay. North America in a statement.

While many consumers buy spicy foods simply for the sake of eating, social media videos such as “Hot Ones” YouTube Series and general spicy food challenges on TikTok involving hot sauces and other foods with high scores on the Scoville scale also make very spicy snacks particularly popular.

Trendy Spicy Flavors

Flavor profiles, including scorpion chili, death reaper, spicy sesame ginger, and pineapple ancho chili, are among the top flavors identified for success in the volume range, shared Sally Lyons Wyatt , executive vice president and practice leader at IRI, during a session at the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo in May.

Salty foods are the obvious choice for new spicy food products and many brands have recently introduced products that offer on-trend flavors like condiments like Hellmann’s Spicy Mayonnaise and snacks like Ruffles Spicy Dill Pickle Flavor.

Meat is another category where spicy ingredients thrive, and jerky has become a hugely popular snack for consumers seeking heat.

“Hot and hot flavors like habanero and ghost pepper make up 25% of sales,” Howard Magee, director of fuel management, operations and category management for The Carioca Co., told convenience store decisions.

Whole Foods Market also identified that spicy condiments are capturing consumer attention in 2022, and demand is likely driven by people’s desire for new experiences that reflect the ability to travel again and explore new cultures. through food.

“As restrictions begin to ease, this desire for exciting new flavors has raised the profile of fiery marinades and table sauces with savory chili varieties like habanero, ancho and guajillo,” Daniel said. Espinoza, Head of Corporate Research and Development for OFI. Food Industry News.

Heat in unexpected products

As the industry sees heat in the predictable categories, many recent product launches are bringing spice to surprising foods — and even drinks.

“We’re seeing the spicy trend growing in multiple categories, even outside of savory snacks,” said Roy Mason, sales manager at Harkins Popcorn & Snacks. Sweets and snacks today.

Hot honey has started appearing on many restaurant menus in recent years to give many dishes the combination of sweet and spicy flavors that customers crave. Mike’s Hot Honey has been the dominant condiment in the CPG market for years, but Kraft Heinz presents its own version: Heinz Infused Honey with Chilli. Also tapping into this mashup trend, PepsiCo combined two of its classic products to create the limited-edition flavor of Mtn Dew Flamin’ Hot last summer.

Several brands launched new products at the Sweets & Snacks exhibition, and many candy brands chose to spice up the confectionery category. Yummallo’s Spicy and Sweet Marshmallows, Three Fruit Flavor Chili Chews Gummies, and Food Fight Co.’s Carolina Reaper Roulette Spicy Gummy Bear Game Challenge were all featured at the event.

These combinations create unique flavor blends that can entice everyday consumers to try something new and exciting while appealing to spice lovers.

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