Kalsec Survey Highlights US Consumer Interest in Hot and Spicy Foods


14 Mar 2017 --- In the latest update of the Kalsec HeatSync Heat Index, global new product introductions with hot and spicy ingredients increased for a ninth straight year, showing a consistent, growing consumer interest in hot and spicy foods. 

The index increased 6 percent from the previous year, reaching a 20 percent compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, over the nine-year period. In 2016, more than 18,000 new 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 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,” says Gary Augustine, executive director, market development.  

According to Augustine, Mexican flavors are starting to emerge again as a popular choice for consumers, as is Middle Eastern spices and even North African tastes are gaining traction in the flavor category.  He spoke with FoodIngredientsFirst: “Nowadays, consumers are looking for more than just a flavor or heat, they are looking for flavor systems that have that bit extra complexity to them such as harissa, which has other flavor components and notes that round it out a bit more.”

“We are also seeing a rise in some citrus flavor combinations,” he continues, “We did some research of US consumers on hot and spicy trend and we found that people are looking for hot and sweet combinations a lot more than in previous years and tangy was their second choice in flavors.”

“There are a lot of influences from African and Middle Eastern countries, and certainly pockets of South East Asia where we see some pretty popular flavor profiles such as fermented heat,” he claims. Click to Enlarge

“In the flavors world, we are seeing a globalization of flavors as the world becomes a closer place through technology and experiences through travel and the internet. These flavor trends show the evolution of consumers looking for more dimensions to flavors, such as an ethnic combination of spice and particularly millennials are more receptive to trying new flavor experiences.”

“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.”  

Kalsec offers a full range of heat management innovations, including HeatSync Systems, Fusionary Heat, Szechuan pepper extract, ClearCap Super Soluble capsicum and a complete line of specialty peppers that include aji amarillo, ancho, cayenne, chipotle, ghost,  guajillo, habanero, jalapeno, pasilla, Szechuan, and the newly released green hatch and serrano pepper extracts.           

The Kalsec Heat Management Toolbox Creating just the right amount of heat in a food product can be a difficult and delicate  process. Some products require no heat, some just a subtle amount, and some  need to sizzle. Rely on the Kalsec experts in flavor, applications and sensory  analysis to isolate and develop the ideal heat expression for your product. 

Kalsec Heat Management Products: Building Blocks Capsicum Extract Ginger Extract Chili and Red Pepper Extract White Pepper Extract Specialty Pepper Extracts  Wasabi Black Pepper Extract Horseradish Szechuan Pepper Extract  Mustard 

HeatSync Systems Unique combinations of pungent ingredients and carriers that deliver heat and sensory attributes targeted for a specific time and palate location based on individual applications. Kalsec HeatSync Systems provide precise control over the following factors: Pungency Intensity Location on Tongue Timing of Pungency Pungent Perception (Sensation) Based on your specifications, Kalsec will develop the ideal heat system for your product.

Fusionary Heat Fusionary Heat combines heat (pungency) with non-traditional pairings to create a unique sensory experience. Fusionary Heat provides an incomparable depth to heat expression and can include such elements as savory, sour, sweet and tangy.

Cardamom Citrus Heat Smooth Lime Heat Citrus Spice  Spiced Habanero Heat Shiver  Spicy Orange Herbal Jalapeno  Sweet-Roasted Chipotle Horseradish Citrus  Tangy Sweet Ginger Indulgent Heat 

Culinary Collection: Authentic Regional Spice Blends As ethnic flavors become more popular, the consumers’ palate is becoming more particular. With this increased focus on authentic flavors and dishes, the demand for specialized retail RTE meals, soups and appetizers has resulted in a need for spice blends that can mimic the authentic profile of various flavors and dishes. Kalsec has developed a collection of blends that provide the distinguishing characteristics and overall profile associated with regional cuisines including Latin American, Asian, and Indian.

For more information regarding the latest US consumer hot and spicy foods survey, visit kalsec.com or go to hotandspicyfoodtrends.com.

by Elizabeth Kenward

Innova Market Insights


The Innova Database is the product of choice for the whole product development team. See what food manufacturers are doing around the world in a way you never thought possible.

Track trends, competitors, ingredients and flavors. It contains excellent product pictures, search possibilities and analysis. Get the world of new products on your desk, set e-alerts, examine category activity, find new ideas, be inspired.

In today's fast moving environment this is a resource you cannot afford to be without.

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