Although summer temperatures are rising, recent survey data shows consumers are still looking for heat in their foods. In fact, we’re seeing foods with hot and spicy combinations with honey gaining steam, as well as the use of the word “hot” in new product names.
Food Technology Magazine reports that foods containing “complex heat” are on the rise. These products generally have ingredients like ghost pepper, serrano and flavored chile peppers. In fact, demographical data from Technomic shows that 59% of consumers aged 18 to 34 “prefer very spicy foods.” Technomic notes that spice level preference hasn’t changed much with consumers, but the global influence of flavors has expanded.
Although consumers crave the heat, “hot” products also need balance as to not overwhelm and exhaust taste buds. Enter honey and its unique makeup of more than 181 components, including carbohydrates, acids, minerals, prebiotics, antioxidants and more. Honey is mostly known for its sweetness, but the all-natural ingredient also is quite acidic with a pH of 3.9. This combination of carbohydrates and acids gives honey the unique ability to balance hot and spicy flavors, allowing them to come through with just a hint of sweetness and acidity.
Honey’s ability to compliment hot and spicy flavors is appearing in supermarkets around the country. Here are a few products that truly capitalize on honey’s unique flavor.
Mama Cozzi’s Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza is the newest in the company’s lineup. Sweetened with honey and made with a pretzel style crust and real cheese, this delicious pizza is already a hit with honey lovers.
Hot products are so important to jerky makers Two Chicks that products with a kick are rebranded Two Hot Chicks. The Spicy Turkey Jerky includes honey, tamari sauce, pineapple juice, cayenne and jalapenos, packing a spiky kick in each 1 oz. bag of jerky.
Herr Foods Inc. recently launched Herr’s Flavor Mix, with Red Hot and Honey Barbecue as one of the varieties. The made with honey chips are gluten-free and are only available until September: a hot commodity through summer!
Perhaps the fieriest made with honey product of the bunch was named after a volcanic island! South Pacific-based Krakatoa was destroyed in 1883, but the name rose from the ashes in Amplify Snack Brands’ Krakatoa Hot Chips. Hot Hot Honey Pot kettle-cooked potato chips are made with honey and scorpion chili, providing a slow build of fire with a lasting bite. They’re non-GMO and gluten-free.
We want to hear from you! Which of these hot products are you interested in trying? Tell us in the comments below!