Thanks to Customer Demand, Your Food Is About to Get Spicier

“Consumers can expect to see some blazing new innovations in unexpected places in the coming months.”

When it comes to flavor, McCormick & Co. says Gen Z and millennials want one thing and one thing only: Spice, spice, and more spice. And it's ready to deliver with a slew of new partnerships and releases in 2023. 

As part of the February Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, McCormick & Co., which owns Frank's RedHot and Cholula, announced its fiery plans to grow the spicy food market in the coming year.

"Gen Z and millennials are kicking up the demand for heat," Brendan M. Foley, President & CEO of McCormick, shared at the conference, Food Business News reported. "They are more experimental and prefer authentic, bold, and spicy flavors more so than the generations before them. Their love of heat has driven growth in inherently hot foods like hot sauce as well as in foods with hot and spicy profiles like salty snacks. While 90% of consumers prefer some level of heat, consumers also want a balanced pairing of flavor and heat."

Several bottles of Cholula hot sauce

The Image Party / Shutterstock

Its spicy products, Foley explained, account for "at least 20% of total McCormick sales in 2022," adding, "that will only continue to grow as we continue to capitalize on the growing demand for heat."

For the heat-seekers ready to try McCormick's spicy products right this second, you're in luck. Goldfish Frank's RedHot crackers, which initially launched in 2021, made a comeback in January, and are currently available on grocery shelves nationwide. Valda Coryat, McCormick's vice president of condiments and sauces, tells Food & Wine, "RedHot was the #1 most requested Goldfish flavor." And, according to Coryat, this is just the beginning. "Consumers can expect to see some blazing new innovations in unexpected places in the coming months as we find exciting ways to satisfy their cravings for these scorching flavors."

It's a sound investment for the brand, as experts predict that spicy trends across the market will only continue to grow. The Specialty Food Association (SFA) Trendspotter Panel predicted that in 2023 brands will go further by experimenting with bold and intense heat. Mikel Cirkus, an SFA trendspotter panelist, explained at the conference, "What began in the hot sauce category is exploding into honey, spreads, confections, beverages, and snacks, snagging new markets like younger consumers."

A 2021 survey conducted by Instacart and Harris Poll also clocked the impending spicy food trend. The company shared in its findings that among its more than 2,000 respondents, 74% said they "eat hot sauce with their food, and nearly half (45%) said they typically dash hot sauce on their food once a week or more often."

McCormick believes developing other spicy food products should be a breeze, especially since it's long been a favorite in the hot food field. Coryat added, "As the go-to experts for everything hot and spicy, we're excited to bring the heat and build on the incredible success of our partnerships."

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