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What’s Hot in Hot Sauce for Menus Ahead®

Datassentials reports that at least 72% of all menus have a mention of something “spicy”. That description outpaces descriptions such as creamy (49%), rich (30%) or juicy (16%). In fact, the mention of a “hot sauce” in a particular menu item grew 4% in the last year and 10% since 2015. So, there is something about “spicy” that really resonates with customers and menu developers.

“34% of consumers said they are consuming more hot sauce than they did a year ago.”

It boils down to a population that has embraced international flavors and who has grown up with a bottle of hot sauce in their home. Thus, spiciness is now an essential ingredient for a successful Limited Time Offer (LTO), add-ons to a menu offering or permanent menu. Projections for 2020 and beyond are for continued growth for hot sauce mentions on menus.

Here are 7 important trend-worthy facts found in a recent Datassentials report that surveyed consumers and operators on condiments and sauces that you should know:

  1. 40% of Consumers Use Hot Sauce Weekly – How much consumers use hot sauce at home is a good indication as to how much they expect it on their restaurant’s table or in a menu item—and a good indication of why hot sauce is growing on menus. In all, 57% of consumers surveyed said they use hot sauce at home and 40% used it at least once per week. More importantly 34% said they are consuming more hot sauce than they did a year ago.
  2. Operators Are Stocking Up on Hot Sauce – Four of the top five sauces purchased by foodservice operators in the past year are spicy, led by sriracha, buffalo sauce and hot sauce.
  3. When Is Hot Too Hot? – Among consumers, 28% said they prefer “moderately spicy” foods compared to 16% who say, “the spicier the better”. When determining heat levels on your menu, keep in mind that a quarter of Gen Z and Millennials want their condiments to be as spicy as possible.
  4. Cross-Utilizing Condiments Can Be Profitable – About 31% of operators are up charging their customers for signature sauces they create by cross-utilizing two or three condiments. For example, combine Texas Pete® Hot Sauce or CHA! by Texas Pete® Sriracha Sauce with mayo or ranch dressing. Signature sauces help differentiate an operator’s menu better than any other message.
  5. What Are the Hot Tabletop Essentials? – Operators say there are three condiment essentials on their tables. Hot sauce is second only to ketchup and ahead of steak sauce as the three key ingredients to front of house success.
  6. Hot Sauce in PCs Are Critical to Success! – Operators want more portion control packaging for their hot sauce or spicy products for drive-thrus, take-out, delivery or catering. The survey found that 50% of operators are still filling plastic ramekins with a lid for off-premise applications. Texas Pete® offers its original hot sauce, CHA! by Texas Pete® Sriracha Sauce and ¡SABOR! by Texas Pete® Mexican-Style Hot Sauce in packets. Our Original hot sauce is also available in 1.69 oz. plastic bottles. As for consumers, 67% said they prefer mini-bottles for their hot sauce—especially Gen X.
  7. Wing Sauce as A Dip? – At home, 64% of consumers use their wing sauce more as a dip than as a coating for chicken wings. Make sure you offer wing sauce in your operation as a dip for chicken tenders or other fried menu items. Better yet, mix it with mayo and upcharge your customers for it as your own special creation!  

Texas Pete® is the fastest growing retail brand of hot sauce in the U.S. among the top 10 brands*. Thus, consumers know and love the Texas Pete® brand and expect “their” brand to be offered by your operation. Remember, you can cash in on rebates of up to $500 on Texas Pete® products as you stock up for a long season ahead. Download your rebate form now.

*IRI, July 2019