Hot sauce is having more than just a moment; it’s having a decade.
The US hot sauce market has grown by 150% since 2000, which is more than that of BBQ sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard—combined.
America’s fast-growing palate for hot sauce has a lot to do with the country’s rising immigrant population. The influx of Asians and Latinos, both of which traditionally have higher tolerances for spice, has helped to make spicy food more conventional. “Young Americans aren’t shying away from spicier food,” Matt Hudak, a US food industry expert for Euromonitor told Quartz.
But hot sauce has also been riding the coat tails of hot wing sales. “There’s been enormous growth in the popularity of hot wings,” Hudak said. “Sriracha, Tabasco, and Frank’s Red Hot, in particular, have really benefitted from that.” Americans now eat some 25 billion chicken wings per year.
Chili pepper is basically creeping into every foodstuff in the US these days. Spicy snack chips, spiced soups and chili chocolate are all derivatives of the country’s hot sauce craze.