National Hot and Spicy Food Day Trends

August 2023

The “hot and spicy food” trend continues to heat up, with no signs of slowing down, particularly in the foodservice segment. In fact, have you noticed that as of recently, 71% of menus and 11% of drink menus feature the word “spicy?” (Datassential). There's even a day dedicated to this trend - National Hot and Spicy Day is celebrated every August 19th. 

Datassential also found 270 spicy “limited-time offerings” released by major foodservice chains as further evidence of the increasing demand. So what should you consider before diving into this highly profitable trend?

dried onion in glass jarsdried onion in glass jars

High-heat is not necessarily the type of products consumers want to eat

While there is a time and place for spicy food challenges, “high-heat novelty spicy products are unsustainable,” warns Chef Jill Houk, Culinary Director at ofi. “Nobody is going to eat an entire plate.” 

So, instead of worrying about how many scoville heat units (SHU) a dish has, recipe developers should focus on the flavor profile and complexity of the spices they’re utilizing if they want to create a product consumers keep coming back for.

Adding spices can help create healthier recipes

Every chef, whether they’re cooking at home for their families or developing recipes for large food manufacturers, knows that salt is a flavor enhancer. At different quantities, salt has the power to reduce bitterness, suppress sweetness and enhance umami. 

However, according to the American Heart Association, “75% of Americans want less sodium in processed and restaurant foods.” Luckily for us, spices can also naturally enhance flavors. 

“Producers can create a feast with the right blend of umami-boosting ingredients such as garlic, red pepper and onion, alongside bitter-blockers like oregano, rosemary or cayenne pepper for the senses without a corresponding spike in sodium,” continues Houk.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss with our sales team which of our products would best suit your needs, don't hesitate to reach out to us

Stay up-to-date on the latest ofi news


© 2024 Olam International All Rights Reserved Co. Reg. No. 199504676H