Adding spicy flavor to a menu item is a leading trend today across all segments. More than 80% of today’s casual restaurant menus include a menu item described as “spicy,” and more than 70% of all menus include a spicy menu item.
The trend toward spicy foods is why more and more operators choose one of the Texas Pete® hot sauce flavors for their back-of-house ingredients or front-of-house condiments.
Food trends, like the current love affair with sriracha sauce, follow a predictable course from their inception in fine dining or ethnic, independent restaurants. The new idea is then adopted by chefs and used in fast casual or trendy casual restaurants. The new flavor proliferates to more mainstream restaurants until it becomes ubiquitous and is found in school cafeterias, dollar stores, and even drug stores.
Depending upon your operation, you will decide what flavor is right for your customers and the condiment that can take you there. Here are some great examples of flavors that are trending and why Texas Pete® is so important to each trend:
Veggie-Centric & Spicy—One of the fastest-growing trends is the movement toward specially prepared vegetables. New research shows that Gen Z customers and late Millennials are much more interested in vegetables and fruits, not just as a side but also as center-of-the-plate entrées, snacks, or appetizers.
Ideal for C&U, B&I, K-12, and fast casual and casual restaurants, grilled, sautéed, and roasted vegetables get a signature twist when combined with anything spicy. At the University of Massachusetts, it’s Texas Pete® Wing Sauce with grilled cauliflower. Overall, sweet potatoes, chipotle, cabbage, pickles, and jalapeño peppers are the top five fastest-growing vegetables on American menus.
Sweet & Savory—Sweet heat combined with savory foods is a customer favorite. CHA! by Texas Pete® sriracha sauce is a natural for mixing with honey and butter, tomato or bacon jam, or a red onion marmalade. Some of these items have seen as much as a 300% growth in menu mentions in just the past four years. Another great Texas Pete® product, our Fiery Sweet Sauce, does the work for you. One of our best flavors, Fiery Sweet is a perfect balance of molasses and our hot sauce for a condiment that is ideal for BBQ, Asian dishes, or anything sweet and savory.
Reinvented Classics—Pairing flavors with sauces, like ranch, aioli, ketchup, and BBQ sauce, is a great example of reinventing classic condiments. Some of the fastest growing are Korean BBQ, mustard seed, and spicy ranch dressing. Patron customization is also a significant trend that can be offered as a menued condiment option, or Texas Pete® bottles can be placed on the table for customers to do their own mixing of flavors. For example, spicy ranch dressing menuing is up nearly 100% in the past four years.
Flavored Aioli and Mayo—The easiest way to create a signature sauce is to combine one Texas Pete® hot sauce flavor with mayo (aioli). Aioli experienced the highest growth among sauce flavors in the past four years. Mayo’s mild flavor easily pairs with CHA! by Texas Pete® sriracha sauce; or try ¡Sabor! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce with mayo for a south-of-the-border twist for your sandwiches or wraps. Overall, spicy mayo on the menu has grown more than 40% in just the last few years. Try Texas Pete® Sautéed Garlic Flavor Hot Sauce or Hotter Hot Sauce with mayo for lip-smacking goodness.
Next Generation Spicy—Spicy flavors aren’t just trendy; they offer a route to signature flavor that your operation can claim. CHA! by Texas Pete® sriracha sauce combined with honey is just one example. Great for everything from an Asian-influenced wing sauce to a spicy breakfast biscuit, CHA! lets you leverage global flavors to target Gen Z and Millennials. Here is another: Try ¡Sabor! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce with mayo or guacamole for a uniquely flavored dip.
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