‘Swicy’ flavors take the spotlight in ad campaigns

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: Getty/	carlosrojas20
Source: Getty/ carlosrojas20

Related tags Marketing

Sweet and spicy (swicy) play into consumers’ ongoing pursuit of diverse, globally inspired taste experiences, and are reflected in recent brand ad campaigns.

Social conversations around sweet and spicy flavors grew by 27.82% over the last year, according to Tastewise data​, with peak activity beginning in the spring through summer 2023. 

Mike’s Hot Honey highlights its versatility across ‘a wide range of foods’

Honey is one of the fastest rising ingredients for the sweet and spicy trend, with its usage growing by 33.65% over the last year, based on Tastewise data.

Mike’s Hot Honey’s second ad campaign, "You'll Love it With Mike's," reflects the versatility of the condiment’s taste profile across “a wide range of foods,” Mike Kurtz, the company's founder, told FoodNavigator-USA.

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Source: Mike's Hot Honey

While considered a condiment, Kurtz explained that the brand has “never been sold with other condiments but rather in the honey aisle,” which “makes us unique and differentiates us from other brands on retail shelves.”

The sweet heat flavor combination, according to Tastewise, is particularly popular within the snack category. Consumers' continued interest in sweet and spicy snacks positioned Mike's Hot Honey to partner with snack makers Kellanova and Utz, as well as other CPG food brands like DiGiorno and Maille Dijon Mustard.

Since its beginnings nearly 15 years ago, Mike’s Hot Honey “launched a range of pack types for every occasion,” and is in more than 20,000 retailers nationwide, Kurtz said.

Mike's Hot Honey offers a variety of formats for consumers and foodservice, including "glass mini jars for gifting and cheese boards, squeeze packets for individual servings, the dip cup for drizzling and dunking, and the large squeeze bottle for chefs and avid at-home cooks," Kurtz said.

5-Hour Energy partners with TikTok influencer, launches new flavor on social media

To kick off the summer, 5-Hour Energy teased its Main Character 5-Hour Energy in a Watermelon Chili lime flavor in collaboration with influencer and author, Jamie Varon, on Instagram last month​.

The collaboration highlights Varon’s book “Main Character Energy.” The concept of main character energy, which was popularized on social media and among Gen Z consumers, is a self-cultivated confidence​ that reflects the attitude of a main character of a film or novel.

The brand’s new ‘swicy’ flavor was announced on Varon’s Instagram page and is available on the company's website while supplies last in a two-pack for $8. Each 1.93-ounce energy shot contains no sugar and 230 milligrams of caffeine.

“Inspired by all the main characters out there who step off the sidelines and chase their moment, let’s all bring the confidence this summer because life is too short to play a supporting role,” Varon said in a TikTok post​ promoting the brand.

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