Honey alone has been a traditional dipping sauce and spread for centuries. However, food manufacturers are now using it as an ingredient to formulate dynamic spreads, sauces and dressings that add extra zest to meals.
Honey is a perfect ingredient for these fares. It can be used as an emulsifier in sauces and dips; as a glaze for meats and vegetables; or as a dish balancer, enhancing sweet flavor in salads or balancing out flavors in savory offerings. There are some exciting trends hitting grocery store condiment aisles in 2020, many of which are using honey to stand out and provide exceptional flavor, functionality and marketability.
Trend: Citrusy Flavors
Consumers want to be wowed by new flavor offerings in their products, and dipping sauces and spreads are the perfect way for manufacturers to provide something new. Custom Culinary says that artisanal creativity is also a way for manufacturers to “showcase interesting fusion flavors, which, in turn, can inspire consumers to try new-to-them-ingredients from globe-spanning regions.” When honey is used in these types of products, it provides a familiar name and flavor to a product consumers may not be familiar with.
CHEVOO’s new Zesty Citrus & Honey Spreadable Goat Cheese is a spread that combines the unique flavor of honey with citrus. Made with hand-blended goat cheese, the spread is gluten-free.
Marie’s Wildflower Honey & Lime Vinaigrette combines trendy floral notes of wildflower honey with lime for a citrusy burst of flavor in every drop. Part of Marie’s Market Reserve lineup, this salad dressing is gluten- and dairy-free, and it is only 60 calories per serving.
For a doubly sweet and citrus fusion, check out Ariston’s Chocolate Honey Orange Balsamic. Described as “sweet and syrupy with the magic flavor of Greek honey, Belgian chocolate and fresh orange,” this dressing finishes with slight aromatics of oak. It’s great for salads, pancakes, crepes, chicken or roast marinades.
Trend: Nut Spreads
Prepared Foods reports that nut spreads in the past year have benefitted from better-for-you ingredients listings that help with guilt-free indulgence. “Fat is back” as a trend and this has helped nut butters look more appealing in consumers’ eyes. The Nutty Gourmet’s Honey Walnut Butter is a keto-friendly spread that is a premium made with honey walnut butter that is certified kosher and is gluten- and preservative-free.
Trend: Turning Up the Heat
Nothing is more classic than a honey BBQ sauce, but Prepared Foods notes that “some table sauces went in a bolder direction.” Spicier offerings somewhat stem from global influences, with habanero, jalapeno and sweet and spicy combinations tantalizing sauce lovers’ taste buds. In fact, Supermarket Perimeter reports “spicy as a category is one of the more popular flavor trends.”
Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Stubb’s has released a Sweet Honey & Spice Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce. The company says that the sauce spreads “love and happiness” with rich, warm spices like allspice, cinnamon and black pepper, mixed with honey, distilled vinegar and hickory smoke.
For more of a kick, combine sweet and heat with Bone Suckin’s Honey & Habanero Wing Sauce. Each 12.25 oz. bottle contains apple cider vinegar, organic yellow mustard, prepared horseradish, dried onion and paprika. For an added benefit, it’s kosher, gluten- and fat-free.
Trend: Classic Flavors
Consumers also draw comfort from knowing what they’re going to get with each and every purchase, and classic flavors aim to please. Global producer of food and beverage ingredients, Kalsec, says that classic U.S. flavors trending with consumers include garlic, onion, buffalo, ranch and barbeque. “We’re seeing a resurgence of interest in flavors that are familiar … these flavors are now coming in premium formats with organic, natural or preferred cooking methods specified.”
Bone Suckin’ Sauce does it again with its Garlic & Honey variety, which is gluten- and fat-free. Honey, apple cider vinegar, organic yellow mustard, garlic extract and natural smoke flavor are some of the enticing ingredients.
Consumers looking for a clean label will find it with Suzie’s Organics Honey Mustard. Honey, lemon juice, soybean oil, white vinegar, mustard seed and turmeric are combined to make this gluten-free honey mustard condiment.
For questions about formulating your next made-with-honey spread or sauce, visit honey.com for methods, tips and honey’s benefits.