While sour continues as a major flavor trend, driven in part by the embrace of Korean and Scandinavian culinary styles with their fermented and pickled foods, Sriracha is the hottest flavor trend building consumer enthusiasm. The popularity of this hot sauce further attests to how embedded ethnic foods have become in the U.S. food scene – Sriracha first appeared in Thai restaurants, and affirms how the overall flavor profile continues its unstoppable march toward ever-hotter condiments. Where is the Sriracha trend going? Mainstream. Sriracha now flavors a Lay’s potato chip, UV Vodka and recently made its way into candy canes just in time for the holiday season.
For QSRs, the beloved condiment offers a great opportunity to boost restaurant’s flavor profile in 2014. The incorporation of the hot sauce recently helped to shake up Subway’s sandwich lineup as they introduced the new Sriracha Chicken Melt and Sriracha Steak Melt, both topped with a creamy Sriracha sauce. As a practical matter, another reason the QSR industry might want to jump on the Sriracha trend train in 2014 is that unlike other hot sauces, Sriracha never goes bad.
Source: Flavor Trends 2014: Sour, Sriracha and High Concept. (December 13, 2013). CMI Online.