Hot, spicy flavors boost presence in food, beverage market

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Hot and spicy flavors are on the minds of consumers, according to Packaged Facts and San Francisco-based strategic food and beverage agency CCD Innovation.

In the new report, "Heat & Spice: Culinary Trend Mapping Report," the companies said that these flavors have taken on a new role and are being positioned as a budget-friendly and healthy way to revamp everyday meals. Such flavor trends on the horizon include:

  • Smoked foods, which are moving beyond the traditional fare of such items as bacon;

  • Aleppo peppers (named after a Syrian city), along with Hatch chiles — a species of cultivated chile peppers grown in Hatch, Mexico — are on the verge of becoming all the rage;

  • Fermented chile-based condiment gochujang, a staple in Korean cuisine, is becoming more widely available;

  • Spicy beverages are making a mark in the category;

  • Spices are an important part of being healthy is taking deeper root in the American marketplace. The key to tapping into this shift is creating opportunities for consumers to incorporate healthy spices more extensively into their diets in a tasteful, natural and fresh way, the research said; and

  • The popularity and prevalence of buffalo sauce in all day parts and diets lands it at "mainstream status," Packaged Facts and CCD Innovation said.

"Now more than ever heat and spice can play an upfront strategic role to differentiate familiar products or to attract specific consumer segments and demographics," CCD Innovation CEO Kimberly Egan said. "There are endless ways for restaurant operators and food manufacturers to mix and match flavorful ingredients to enhance the consumer experience and drive powerful innovation."

For more information on "Heat & Spice: Culinary Trend Mapping Report," click here.

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