The Sriracha trend might be coming to an end and companies are looking for the next big hot sauce star to feature in their line-up.
Sriracha has become a popular staple in North American homes and restaurants. With businesses continuously coming up with ways to incorporate this chilli sauce in their products, from sriracha flavored chips to sriracha infused coconut oil, it is no surprise that this market is becoming over saturated. Companies are preparing for the fall of this popular condiment by searching for the next spicy sauce set to steal the show.
With hot sauce sales having increased by 150% between 2000 and 2013, the consumer taste is changing and becoming more distinguished.
“The desire for foods with a spicy component is continuing, but the preferences are becoming more refined,” said Lacey Eckert, market development specialist with Kalsec, Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich. “It’s not just about how hot something is. Consumers want specificity, authenticity and nuance of the flavor profile. Food manufacturers have to keep it interesting.”
Keeping this in mind, food manufacturers are also looking for a flavor that will resonate with people and result in consistent sales just as Sriracha has proven to be capable of.
According to Eckert, the top contenders in this search are traditional international sauces. The combination of hot chillies, garlic and other flavorful ingredients make these sauces appealing yet unique.
“Gochujang and harissa are among the sauces most cited as ‘the next possible sriracha,’” Eckert said. “They combine the trends of heat with the popularity of an ethnic profile. Gochujang represents Asia and harissa hales from North Africa…. Also, (one) to watch is the spicy Middle Eastern condiment Shkug, a combination of cilantro and jalapeños with other spices, and Sambal, another Asian sauce incorporating chilies.”
Eckert goes on to explain how Sriracha has sparked consumer interest in ethnic condiments and flavors.
According to Chicago-based market research organization The NDP Group, people are looking for a mix of hot, garlic and spicy flavors in their food menus. Their SupplyTrack service, which tracks products shipped by distributors to consumers, found that consumer sales of spices and seasonings have increased by 7% between March 2016 and March 2017. Top selling seasonings and spices were curries such as tikka masala and yellow curry.
“The growing Asian and Hispanic populations in the US have introduced new flavors into the American diet and many of these flavors are now mainstays in our kitchens and on menus,” said Ann Roberts, vice-president of NPD’s SupplyTrack service. “There are also new flavors and flavor profiles emerging and growing, which makes it important for distributors, manufacturers, and food service operators to understand the impact of ethnic cultures and their related flavors in order to recognize growth opportunities.”
The NDP Group says this flavor trend will remain consistent with 75% of US adults, with young adults being especially open to trying new things.