Grocery stores have a tough time. Consumer tastes change continually. New trends become established flavors within a matter of years while others fall by the wayside. Keeping up is difficult. There are plenty of movements to watch at the moment, such as the desire for healthier meals – and the number of singles buying meals for one.
There is, however, one trend that really should be considered an establishment.
American consumers want spicier, hotter foods.
Hot Sauces Are Undeniably Taking over the World
In the United States, hot sauces have become a staple. Their growth hasn’t slowed for well over a decade either. Since 2000, the hot sauce market has grown a whopping 150% percent. Put that into perspective; take a look at the other condiments Americans purchase and use. If you add together the sales of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and BBQ sauce – you still wouldn’t find the increase hot sauces have.
Let’s face it; that’s huge. And, it should be considering that hot sauce is now a billion-dollar industry.
Consumers want hot sauces, not just flavored chips and frozen Asian meals for one.
This growth is visible in the eruption of hot sauce festivals across the country. You’ll find one in almost every major city now, attracting chili heads from the region. In April, the New York City Hot Sauce Expo pulled over 10,000 fans in Brooklyn. And that was only the third installment of this festival. More established events draw fantastic numbers and a range of hot sauce manufacturers.
It’s Not All Tabasco; Consumers Want Variety
In the past couple of decades, Tabasco has lost its hold on the market. They’re still leaders, to be sure, but they don’t have the grasp they had a couple of decades ago.
There’s a reason for that. People want to expand their flavor base – and they want hotter hot sauces too. From the rooster to more obscure brands, people aren’t just picking up a bottle of Tabasco any longer. They’re spending more time in the hot sauce section, looking over brands with catchy names and striking branding. Millennials play an influential role in that shift, and they’re not going anywhere.
Currently, 56% of American households have hot sauces on hand. That’s up from the late 40s a few years back and continues the steady growth we’ve come to expect.
Unfortunately, grocery stores and food retailers are missing the mark. Shelves are too often still lined with the industry stalwarts (with the rooster seen as new variety). Consumers continue to purchase their hot sauces at specialty shops and through online platforms – which is a little strange considering all the data is there.
People want hot sauces, and they want unusual varieties. Isn’t it time you asked yourself what you’re doing to feed their cravings?