Cholula looks to spice up salsas, seasonings in first-ever category expansion

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: McCormick & Company
Image Credit: McCormick & Company

Related tags hot sauce salsa Spice

Cholula is expanding outside the hot sauce category with the release of three salsas and three taco seasonings, as spicier and bolder flavors become an increasingly important part of McCormick & Company’s business, the company’s VP of North America marketing in condiments and sauces Valda Coryat told FoodNavigator-USA.

"At least 20% of McCormick Company sales in 2022 were made of spicy products, so I think that's starting to show how important this category really is to the company,​" Coryat said. "[There is] so much variety, so many different ways that you can leverage the great flavor of the Mexican chiles, herbs, and spices that we're using and help just about anyone bring true, unique, and authentic Mexican flavor at home.​"

Cholula enters salsa, seasonings categories

In the first expansion beyond hot sauces, Cholula is now offering​ salsas in Cholula Original, Salsa Verde, and Smoky Chipotle as well as taco seasonings in Original Recipe, Smoky Chipotle, and Chili Garlic. This release comes shortly after the launch of Cholula Reserva Tequila & Lime, a hot sauce created with a blend of agave tequila and a blend of chile de arbol and piquín peppers.

The launch of the seasonings and salsas was “a very natural extension​” to the brand, given Cholula’s popularity as a hot sauce and the overall increased demand for spicier products, Coryat explained.

"Cholula ... is the number one Mexican hot sauce in the world and the number two hot sauce in the US. And for three generations, it's been really a staple ... of Mexican cuisine for many in the United States.​"

While the spicy and bold trend has been going strong for years now, younger consumers are driving the category forward with increased demand, Coryat said. "There was a new report​ that for the first time ever Millennials and Gen Z consumers are opting for bold and spicy flavors of Mexican food over Italian,​" she added. 

"McCormick as a company is really excited to capitalize on the popularity of heat and build on the categories that we always play in,​" Coryat said. "This is not our first foray in developing spicy food products.​"

Partnering on branded product innovation

McCormick also is looking for product development partnerships, Coryat explained. Earlier this year, McCormick partnered with Campbell Soup Co. to bring back the limited-time Frank’s Red Hot Goldfish Crackers, which initially launched in 2021​.

Cholula will look for more of these opportunities in the future and find ways to release more products that tap into different occasions, like breakfast and different aspects of Mexican culture, Coryat said.

"The Reserva this year would have been a pleasant new entry for us, so continue to be on the lookout for new flavors of Cholula periodically,​" she said. "I would say think of all of Mexico. There's a lot of opportunity over the years for us to really tap into the richness of authentic Mexican cuisine and some of the newer products that we will bring to market in the future.​"

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