In recent times, hot sauce has become increasingly popular as many consumers crave spicy foods. Companies have recognized this eagerness to try new hot sauces and have started to introduce consumers to a wide range of options to choose from.
The growing popularity of hot sauce has largely been influenced by social media. First We Feast is a YouTube channel that has gained in viewership over the years. Hot Ones, a show on the channel, features celebrities taking on a spicy hot chicken wing challenge.
Christopher Schonberger created the show and the premise is that the guest is provided with ten wings tossed in hot sauce, with each one spicier than the last. While the guest is eating, Sean Evans, the host, asks them interview questions, with the show’s tagline being, “the show with hot questions and even hotter wings.”
Hot Ones gives exposure to a number of national and local hot sauce brands, with sauces changing each season. There are over 200 episodes, and they get more than 1.2 billion views per episode with 8.2 million channel subscribers.
The global hot sauce market was valued at $2.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $2.7 billion in 2021 and $4.3 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 7.1 percent in the 2021 to 2028 forecasted period. The COVID-19 pandemic has lowered the growth rate of this market by four percent, but the increasing curiosity to try new flavors has allowed new companies to enter the space.
As consumers stayed at home during the pandemic, they were looking for ways to get creative, and one way to do that was to experiment with different foods and flavors from around the world. Some of those flavors come from Latin America, the Middle East, India and Asia. For example, some of the most popular hot sauces in North America include Sriracha, Frank’s RedHot Sauce, La Costeña Mexican Hot Sauce and Cholula Hot Sauce, the last two of which originated in Mexico.
Here’s are four companies that have recently entered the hot sauce category with their innovative flavors and strategies.
A popular Mexican food seasoning, Tajín is a spice made with ground and dried chiles de árbol, guajillo and pasilla chilis, with dehydrated lime and sea salt.
This seasoning differs from others because it is used on all foods, such as watermelon, oranges, mangoes, corn, potatoes, avocados and more. It has a tangy, salty flavor with a hint of spice.
Now the company is expanding to create Tajín Mild Hot Sauce and Tajín Fruity Chamoy Hot Sauce. These products will compete in the category as they provide consumers with more hot sauce variety. Tajin hopes to make their new sauces as popular as their seasoning.
“Not all people have a palate for very spicy hot sauces. In fact, a substantial number of category users actually prefer a mild-to-medium heat level. These Tajín flavors range from fruity and tangy to mildly spicy, always with the distinctive touch of lime that differentiates the Tajin brand. As a result, consumers will be drawn to these high quality, innovative product options to dip, top, mix and enjoy the snacks they love,” said Javier Leyva, Tajín International Corp director for the US, in a press release.
The hot sauces are made with a blend of 100 percent natural chilies, lime juice and sea salt. The Tajín Mild Hot Sauce and Tajín Fruity Chamoy Mild Hot Sauce are available now at select grocery stores and on Amazon.
HERDEZ is a salsa brand in Mexico that is growing in the US market. Earlier in July, they announced two new sauce varieties, Avocado Cilantro and Cilantro Lime, as part of their HERDEZ TAQUERIA STREET SAUCE product line.
Their company recognized that consumers’ favorite Mexican restaurants had closed due to COVID-19, which means that access to their favorite flavors had been compromised. This ultimately increased the act of cooking at home more than ever. Therefore, HERDEZ are adding two new flavors to their already existing line of popular sauces that include Original Roja, Original Verde, Habanero and Smoky Chipotle.
“Following the successful introduction of the HERDEZ TAQUERIA STREET SAUCE product line in 2018, we’ve been hard at work perfecting the next additions,” said Giselle Olson, brand manager of the HERDEZ brand, in a press release. “We’re playing into crave-worthy ingredients that are reminiscent of an authentic taqueria experience and have bottled it up in our latest sauces. They taste incredible on tacos and so much more!”
3) Ayo Foods
AYO Foods, a West-African-inspired brand, adds two hot sauces to their portfolio, allowing people to pick up the spice this BBQ season.
The company began in 2019 and since then, they have introduced their flavors to a wide range of audiences, whether that’s through a sauce or their traditional African snack made of fried dough, Puff Puffs in the frozen foods category.
The two new hot sauces include Shito Sauce, a mix between a smoky, spicy and chili pepper sauce that can be used in any classic summer recipe. The Pepper Sauce is a hot habanero sauce with a blend of onions, tomatoes, garlic and basil.
“We selected the name AYO because it means ‘Joy’ and that’s what our line represents — dishes that have been the focal point of many happy moments for our family. The introduction of sauces is a major milestone for us. While it’s a natural extension of our line, these also represent AYO’s potential to bring West African flavors to more aisles in the store. This is an important bridge for us as a company to continue to share our family favorites with customers and introduce them to, or remind them of, the incredible flavors of West Africa,” said Perteet Spencer, co-founder, AYO Foods, in a statement.
4) Dude, Seriously
Dude, Seriously is known for the multi-award-winning hot sauce called “Dude, Seriously Hot Sauce.” Now, they’ve launched the world’s first every hot sauce vending machine.
This machine will be available in over 100 locations across major cities in the US, with the first one being available in the Oakley Kitchen in Cincinnat, US.
“Campfire Foods is an innovator in the local food ecosystem and the Dude, Seriously Hot Sauce Vending Machine is not only a unique concept that aligns with our creative values, but it also gives our customers access to over 35 of the best local and national hot sauces,” said Tyler Martin, CEO at Campfire Foods Group, local food distribution company, in a press release.
The vending machine will offer more than just one hot sauce; even those that do not like the spice can enjoy a mild hot sauce flavor. In addition, the Dude, Seriously Hot Sauce Vending Machine uses a soft touch delivery process that offers full 5-ounce glass bottles of hot sauce.
The vending machine does not just offer the brand’s hot sauces but other brands across the country, such as Tabasco and Cholula, along with national and local brands.
Kai Schneider, CEO of Dude, Seriously thought of the idea in March of 2020. “I was considering opening my own store, but when the pandemic hit, I began to rethink retail. People deserve a hassle-free experience with minimal risk of exposure and the vending machine supplies that and so much more.”
Hot sauce is a growing market and consumers are quickly jumping on board to try these different food experiences. However, with the summer season on our hands and at-home cooking being the main activity as people wait for the pandemic to roll over, the industry is looking for ways to entertain this market and increase sales by creating variations and innovations within the sauce market.