Canadian consumers’ usage of hot sauce is on the rise as a preference for spicy flavors continues to spread, according to Technomic’s recently released 2017 Canadian Flavour Consumer Trend Report.

Demand for heat has inspired changes across menu categories as operators increasingly embrace spicy flavors to differentiate and drive traffic; indeed, 49 percent of consumers surveyed crave spicy flavors.

“The spicy trend is providing a growth avenue for a variety of new spices, seasonings and sauces, particularly those with an ethnic positioning,” says Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “Expect to see operators incorporate more ethnic ingredients like sambal or peri peri to signal not only heat but flavor complexity and authenticity as well.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Twenty-one percent of Millennials, compared to 16 percent of consumers overall, actively seek out new flavors to try on a regular basis.
  • Twenty-nine percent of consumers strongly agree that their flavor preferences change with the seasons.
  • Fifty-eight percent of consumers are willing to spend more on a meal that features new flavors, down from 64 percent in 2015.