Some like it hot! Appetite for hot and spicy foods continues, matched by product launches, says Kalsec

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Karimala
© Getty Images / Karimala
Food and beverage brands are responding to consumer demand for hotter, spicier, foods with over 50 new hot and spicy products launched every day around the world in 2016, says Michigan-based natural extracts specialist Kalsec.

Kalsec’s new Hot and Spicy eBook reveals that there were 18,000 new products introduced in 2016 globally that were spicy—compare this with just 3,000 in 2007. It marks a 6% increase from the previous year, reaching a 20% compound annual growth rate over the nine years the index started tracking.

“The [Kalsec HeatSync Heat Index] increased six percent from the previous year, reaching a 20 percent compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, over the nine-year period,” ​states the eBook. “The CAGR does not show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Food processors, manufacturers and consumer packaged goods [CPG] food companies wanting to innovate should be looking towards new ways to bring hot and spicy foods to the market.”

The eBook, which can be found HERE​, pulls together data from consumer surveys and market research from both retail and restaurant menus, including macro trends and regional differences. The document reveals that 90% of American consumers and 80% of European consumers enjoy hot and spicy foods. One in four US consumers are eating spicy foods more often than they did one year ago.

“Every food provider, from CPG food companies to restaurants and newer food producer models like meal kit delivery companies, is trying to predict the next big thing in food,” ​states the eBook. “Incremental growth is just as important with new product launches and ‘limited time offer’ products.

“How do hot and spicy flavors play a part? With the consistent growth in demand for hot and spicy foods and the consumer trends towards more heat and more subtle, specialized flavors, custom hot and spicy products and menu flavors open the doors to unlimited innovation.”

Kalsec HeatSync 1
Source © Kalsec

Consumer data

The eBook also presents data from a recent Kalsec survey that indicated that two out of every five American consumers like to snack on spicy foods, while one in every two would try a hot and spicy snack option. In addition, 66% of consumers are interested in a sweet and spicy combination, while 50% are interested in sweet and tangy flavors. Thirty-six percent of consumers said that the source of the heat is important to them.

Kalsec’s Consumer Trend Analysis is based on surveys of 1,400 American, 1,000 British, 1,000 French and 1,000 German consumers ages 18 and over.

Retail and culinary insights

This consumer interest is being matched by new product launches around the world. Retail insights developed in partnership with Innova Market Insights revealed that Europe leads the way on new hot and spicy product launches from 2007-16, with 40%. Asia is second with 29%, and North America third with 18%. A key product category in North America is table sauces, which account for 17% of the product launches, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%.

So which end-product applications present the best chance of success for new products? The figure below illustrates the leading food application categories with the strongest CAGRs over the past decade.

“The top categories, with the highest growth rates, provide the lowest risk categories for exploring a new hot and spicy product, as consumers are used to seeing these products with spicy flavor options,”​ explained Kalsec. 

Kalsec HeatSync 3
Source © Kalsec

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