The index increased six percent from the previous year, reaching a 20 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the nine year period. In 2016, more than 18,000 products were introduced. The index, developed in partnership with Innova Market Insights, monitors peppers, seasonings and condiments that contribute heat or pungency to a food or beverage.
Kalsec, a food manufacturer, also recently completed a follow-up survey from a 2015 US online survey evaluating current consumer opinions about hot and spicy foods. “Consumers are not only eating hot and spicy foods more often, but we see a continued interest in combinations such as hot and sweet,” said Gary Augustine, executive director in market development.
“Millennials are eating more hot and spicy foods and are more adventurous in their choices of these dishes. While men still like foods spicier and eat spicy foods more often, women are increasing their intake from the previous year at a faster rate than men,” he continued.
Adding a mix of mild and spicy peppers and sweet-heat mashups can stir customer intrigue, with consumer preferences shifting to more moderately spicy flavours. This could be influenced by a greater interest in flavour combinations, which may feature more complex spicy notes as opposed to simple heat. This can help drive both traffic and sales for product launches labelled with spicy flavour combinations.