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America crazed by spicy food

Ella Wachtel
More spicy food products are being made due to how likeable spicy foods are for consumers.

Spicy food has proven it is not just a quick fad and is here to stay. Hot sauce and spicy food has risen in popularity to become a major part of every type of food business in the United States.

“This persistent consumer trend has caused observable changes in the fast food industry and elevated specific flavors like sriracha to global popularity,” according to Nestle USA.

The popularity for spicy food has many factors but the most important one involves the younger generations’ search for diverse flavors. As the United States has become accessible to cuisine around the world and spicy eastern cuisines, there has been a melding of cultures.

Spicy food options have popped up in everything from snacks to fast-food. Gen Z and Millennials have been exposed to multicultural food trends on social media.  

“Nearly 80% of Gen Z consumers say they have tried a food or flavor that they saw on social media,” according to Newsweek.

“We see food service channels taking notice with spicy food showing up on nearly three out of every four menus,” according to Mike Van Houten, the leader of the Consumer & Marketplace Insights group for Nestle USA.

Over the past 15 or more years, more consumers have been shifting toward spicy food. Sriracha sauce has risen in popularity with the Asian condiment being put on everything from chicken to popcorn. 

Consumers are increasingly looking for new spicy flavors found in global cuisines. As a result, brands will continue to adopt new products to meet their consumer’s new taste profiles. The spicy foods era in America has just begun.

If you are new to spicy foods, a popular snack to try are Takis Fuego, which are rolled tortilla chips seasoned with hot chili pepper and lime. Another popular favorite is Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that takes the familiar crunchy snack and covers it with hot spicy flavors. A new variation to a popular snack are Spicy Nacho Doritos with hotter spices covering the familiar tortilla chips.  

Outside of snack chips, you can find spicy flavored nuts, crackers, pickles, and much more. 

Dine-in restaurants and fast-food restaurants are offering spicy entrees and sandwiches such as spicy chicken. Everywhere the American consumer goes, a new spicy flavor option can be found to expand their flavor profiles.  

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About the Contributors
Matthew Carrington
Matthew Carrington, Features Writer
Ella Wachtel
Ella Wachtel, Photographer
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