3 Hot Sauce Trends Heating Up the Sauce Category

Life is heating up in the sauce department. Over the years, consumers have ventured into ethnic restaurants with more confidence. The rich flavors and unique tastes spur them towards a more adventuresome spirit when ordering food outside the home or creating something new in their kitchen.


What Is Old Is New Again


Spices are as old as ancient civilization and encompass a rich history over thousands of years. The renewed popularity of spices seen in sauces adds rich and complex flavors and health benefits, including a source of antioxidants. While stealing spices isn’t punishable by death like it was in the 16th-century Dutch empire, they are certainly making a comeback for people looking for hot ingredients, both metaphorically and taste-wise.


Authentic Flavors


With more time to cook at home, consumers are experimenting with the fiery flavors from Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cuisines. Adventurous palates seek spicy ingredients in recipes or grabbing sauces that let them connect with exotic flavors right from their grocery shelf:


  • Korean-inspired Gochujang sauce has a bite that consumers enjoy. Its main ingredient is red jalapeno puree, which delivers a zing, and may also contribute to replenishing gut flora. As people look for healthy alternatives to high-fat or high-sugar sauces, Sriracha sauce’s base, made from red jalapeno puree, meets that need.
  • Zhoug sauce and shatta sauce are Middle Eastern sauces gaining popularity and made from spicy chilies, onion, garlic, and cilantro.
  • Spicy red peppers are a mainstay in North African dishes. As American palates become more tolerant of spicy ingredients, they will be ready for the next level of hot, and Peri Peri may be the answer. It is a traditional African sauce made from the spicy African Bird’s Eye Chili peppers.


The Popularity of Peppers


Jalapeno, chili, and bell peppers all have similar health benefits, which health-conscious consumers prefer. The peppers are low in calories, high in potassium, and high in vitamin A and C. Green chilies are the most widely used in the US today due to their mild flavor. However, trends are changing. Consumers still enjoy green salsa, enchilada sauces, and moles, but as they introduce themselves to new and hotter ingredients, requests for extreme heat are growing.


The Shift Continues


As more dishes are chef-driven using fresh and healthier foods, consumers are responding. The spices and peppers that people are more open to today, especially in their sauces, allow producers to replace ingredients containing fat, sugar, and salt. The African, Middle Eastern and Asian spices provide a complex and satisfying flavor. They taste better and are better for you.