More and more Americans these days are enjoying spicy foods. Recent consumer research clearly shows that the desire for heat keeps growing every year. Walk into almost any restaurant, and you’re sure to see new spicy menu items, even salsa has overtaken ketchup as America’s No. 1 condiment.
You could blame it on millennials, the most ethnically and racially diverse demographic group in our nation’s history. They were reared on diverse ethnic foods, which often feature hot and spicy ingredients. They also have adventurous tastes and love trying new foods. Health conscious, they often prefer foods that are organic, locally grown and hormone-free.
The trend toward spicy food is also due to our aging American population. As people get older, their taste buds change, and it takes a little more kick to wake them up. Spicy foods meet that requirement.
As a pizza operator, here are some ways you can take advantage of the spicy food trend:
Focus on spicy toppings – In your social media and in-store advertising, highlight the spicy toppings you offer. What’s spicier than pepperoni, America’s favorite pizza topping? If you don’t currently carry poblano, jalapeno and chipotle peppers, add them to your menu.
Offer health conscious, spicy options – Feature at least one pizza with a whole wheat crust. Cover it with organic tomato sauce. Offer a selection of meats and other toppings with no preservatives. Liguria Foods has an All-Natural Pepperoni with no nitrates, nitrites, BHA or BHT food preservatives.
Cater to ethnic fusion tastes – Americans have a soft spot for ethnic mash-ups – Sushirritos (sushi served in burrito form), naanwiches, Korean barbecue tacos and Mexican dumplings. Consider offering pizza with a unique base other than tomato sauce, for example, spicy salsa, Thai red curry or Indian curry.
All Sriracha, All the time – look around, Sriracha sauce is everywhere. Smart operators are incorporated this hot craze into hot offers. Use on wings, BBQ Chicken pizza or a honey Sriracha dressing for salads.
The spicy food trend is here to stay. As a pizza operator, you are in a great position to take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pizza toppings and create a signature combination that both the millennials and older baby boomers will enjoy!